My Physical Response to Job Loss

by Dagliano, Norine Tuesday, June 26, 2012
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Losing a job is quite an emotional experience – looking for your next opportunity leans more toward the cerebral. Until you can come to terms with the first, it is difficult to tackle the latter.

I recall my last job loss more than 10 years ago as if it were yesterday. I have always had the reputation of being the logical, analytical one that doesn’t get sidetracked by the emotional aspects of life. There is some truth in that, but it all changed when my employer showed me the door. I was 100% emotional!

I wanted my old job back – and I wanted the pain to go away and the grief process to end.

I couldn’t look for work when it was a struggle to just get up. My husband, friends and relatives kept trying to cheer me up and encouraged me to look for other jobs. I wanted my old job back – and I wanted the pain to go away and the grief process to end.

At a loss as to how to handle all the emotions, I decided one morning to take a walk. Doing something physical got me out of my head and away from my heart and gave me some relief. So, I took a walk the next day… and the next… and the next. Everyday I added a little more distance, until suddenly I realized I was walking more than four miles a day. And my life began to change. Not only was I putting distance between myself and the raw emotions related to job loss, but I began to feel the stress melting away. My mind started to clear, I had more energy and I felt more positive about life in general (I even lost weight!). The endorphins were making me “high” and I felt ready to get out there, “sell myself” and start a new career.

Sometimes when we get caught up between the heart and the head, it’s time to engage the body.

Sometimes when we get caught up between the heart and the head, it’s time to engage the body. In the movie Forrest Gump (1994), Forrest dealt with the heartbreak of loosing Jenny by running. He just started to run one day and when he reached the Pacific Ocean, he turned around and ran back to the Atlantic. He ran until he forgot why he was running, and then he hung up his running shoes and re-engaged in life.

If you are struggling with job loss, consider doing something physical to comfort your heart and clear your mind. Things will eventually work in your favor, but in the meantime, you need to get up and move. When it seems that the rug has been pulled out from under your feet and you can’t think straight to find a solution, you might want to follow Jenny’s advice…

RUN, FORREST, RUN!