The couple’s guide to getting through a layoff – together

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A smiling coupleThese are unpredictable financial times: after years of feeling insulated from the world economy, many of us now are hurting through departmental restructuring, job loss and the financial and stressful effects on our banks accounts.

Many employees have been laid off or even terminated as a result of the downturn of the economy, the drop in oil prices and the impact it has had on provinces like Alberta, Canada. Nevertheless, the economic impact is not isolated to one area. People may work in an oil industry while maintaining their primary residence, and often their family, in another province, or country. So what happens to that family when one member of the household – and possibly the primary bread winner, is suddenly out of work and with grim prospects? How can you keep your relationship and your life healthy and balanced?

Relationships can be strained during a financial downturn or crisis. This stress can affect different aspects your relationship and couples may find themselves making unhealthy choices – eating poorly, drinking more, and sleeping less.

So how do you keep a balanced relationship when adjusting to the new reality?

  • Ensure routines are maintained for all members of the family.
  • Moderate the less-than-healthy food and drink choices you might make not only for yourself but for your family.
  • Ensure a healthy sleep routine; a well-rested person has a greater ability to cope.
  • Keeping a healthy balance ensure a greater ability to cope during difficult times & making time to do the things you enjoy may result in better improved outlook.

Of course, it is also important to recognize one’s own well-being is also at risk when going through a layoff. For the family member that has lost their job treat finding a new job as a full-time career:

  • Don’t stay in bed all day. Network with former colleagues.
  • Ensure your social media accounts are current and professional in appearance, as potential employers view applicants’ online activity.
  • Ensure you remain productive during the day even if not through paid employment.
  • If your employer offered outsourcing, take advantage of it.

Communication is the key to the success of your relationship and your emotional and physical well-being. Staying on course with a healthy life and relationship may not make the layoff period shorter, but it should help you all get through it together.

By Julie Hayes.


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