MACON, Ga. — Experts say when people lose their jobs, it's more than just losing your source of income. You can also lose your sense of self, your daily routine, and even your life's purpose.
Losing those things can lead to even darker times. Two mental health professionals say they're no strangers to the subject of job loss.
According to the Department of Labor, unemployment rates in Central Georgia hit 2.5% in Dec. 2021. That's better than Dec, 2020 when the rate was 5.8%.
Even though employment rates are up, this still means thousands of Central Georgians are without a job.
"I don't know how I'm going to make ends meet, or I'm losing my place because I don't have enough money to pay the bills... what am I going to do with my kids?"
These are things that mental health expert Gloria Cisse says she hears from clients who suffer from job loss.
"Job loss is definitely a big concern for a lot of people, and it leads to anxiety and depression," said Cisse.
Bruce Conn, a therapist with Piedmont Medical says this is because the loss of a job can cause a person to feel lost.
"We get our identity involved in our job. Our jobs are very meaningful, so it seems like a loss of identity," said Conn.
"We need to be very mindful about how important a job is for another person. During this pandemic, when people lose their jobs, they kind of lose their sense of purpose," said Cisse.
This comes from a loss of routine, motivation, and isolation. Both Cisse and Conn have tips to prevent these things from happening.
"Find a way to structure your time. You're used to being on the job certain hours, so it's almost like you have to clock into your new job, which is you," said Conn.
"Be sure to spend more time with your friends and family and do things that increase your happiness," said Cisse.
"This might mean journaling to figure out what you want to do and maybe you'll go through a big change. Maybe you'll see that this loss isn't really a loss but an opportunity," added Conn.
Here's more advice you may find helpful:
- Reach out for support. You need people to talk to during this time
- Give yourself time to accept what is happening
- Try out new hobbies that bring joy to your life