I Lost My Job In The Middle Of A Pandemic; Here’s How I Manage To Stay Positive, Focus, And More Resilient

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we live and work. The economic downturn brought by the pandemic, the lockdowns, and restrictions set for safety reasons has affected millions of workers, students around the world, and I’m one of these people.

Joshua Romero
7 min readNov 6, 2020

If you still have your job, work from home, or on-site set up in the middle of a pandemic then you’re lucky. Continue to work hard and be the best at what you do for yourself, colleagues, and the organization you work for. But to someone out there who happen to lost their income and is currently experiencing anxiety and stress on how to make ends meet in order to put food on the table for the family, pay bills and so much more — you’re not alone and continue reading as this might help you deal with the ‘unexplained’ emotions that you’re going through.

The pandemic has brought us to a standstill and has forced us to process individual discomfort in the front of an uncertain future which we cannot control. It is important to note that we must acknowledge these emotions called grief — it may be a term associated with death, but losing a job is still a type of loss. Anticipatory Grief, as an emotion, can also be associated with financial anxiety, social isolation, worry about how to make ends meet, worry about the future, and so on.

Anticipatory grief, or grief that occurs before death, is common among people who are facing the near-death of a loved one or their own death. Yet, while most people are familiar with the grief that occurs after death (conventional grief), anticipatory grief is not often discussed.

It can be scary and stressful at times when we think about what might happen tomorrow or in the days to come. If you’re anxious right now, you’re certainly not alone. But here’s what I did which helps me deal with these emotions and the steps I took to bounce back from adversity.

Reprogram Your Mindset

Reprogramming your subconsciousness to be adaptable to a new normal can be a challenge, but we have to remember that your mind is a key to your success. Mind reprogramming begins with choosing what you need — right now and in the future — and to focus on it. Give your brain a direction. As Tony Robbins says, where focus goes, energy flows. Je Hemmings, a Behavioral Psychologist says, “acquiring more knowledge is important for self-development and mind reprogramming. Further knowledge and information lead to a better way of thinking, perceive it in a positive way that we can go through this, and this whole fiasco will lead to an end.” This suggests that sometimes the simple way of thinking can lead to understanding and empowerment in how we think and move as a whole.

We must understand that we have no control over the situation, instead we can control our approach to uncertainties.

Check With Employer And Government What You’re Eligible For

The Philippines is in a state of national health emergency since March 2020 and will end by September 2021 to allow the government to draw emergency funds for stronger COVID-19 response and in light of this, Filipinos may take advantage of a PAG-IBIG Calamity loan to keep you afloat amid the financial impact brought by COVID-19. You may also need to check with your employer if you’re eligible for benefits, or disability, unemployment, medical, and family leave may be an option but in the United States rules may vary by the states.

Make A List of Priority Payments

The moment I knew that I will be losing my job what first comes to my mind is how to make ends meet and keep me afloat while in isolation. If you’re like me who doesn’t have enough money to go around and thankfully, the Philippines has severe lockdown measures that keep me away from buying unnecessary stuff. So it’s critical to make a list of which bill to pay first.

At a time like this, banks and financial institutions are generous to offer extended grace periods because maybe because of the laws passed by the government. It is important to take your basic need first — food, shelter, utilities, and transportation. Avoid unnecessary spending and focus only on your needs. Buy groceries at your local supermarket and cook your own meals instead of takeout or delivery. It is also important to keep an eye on rent, mortgage loans, electric, and water utility bills. In the Philippines, the government has passed laws that prohibit landlords, mortgage institutions, and utility companies to evict, and/or shut anyone due to delayed or no payments which also allows us to pay it on an installment basis due to the pandemic.

Search For Alternative Source Of Income

The job market has changed in an instant including the recruitment process which is typically from walk-in to online and/or virtual process. Essentials services are needed to be delivered with no delay, and industries like food manufacturing, telecommunications, business process outsourcing, banking and finance, agriculture, and retail stores are taking vigorous steps to add more people to its workforce — you might want to try it.

You may also see an opportunity by creating videos on Youtube or Facebook, write an article for blog-host platforms, offer your skills to entrepreneurs and professionals who wants to outsource their works by being a virtual assistant, be an Uber or Grab driver, or online selling by listing your products in Amazon, eBay, Lazada, Alibaba or other similar types of site.

Go For A Walk Or Run If You Can

Since the COVID-19 lockdown started in March, I always crave the need for productivity. I don’t do very much physical exercise back then, but since I am at home and have more time for self-care, distance learning, and job seeking. I also want to do things differently, so I started to go for a 4km walk every 6 PM — that’s 6,000 steps in 2 hours, first I can feel pangs in my body since I’m not used to this but I noticed, in the long run, my body got used to it and it became my habit to go for a walk every 6 PM. Research also shows that physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our overall well-being. It is likely to improve our mood, relieve stress, boost self-esteem, and even minimize the impact of depression and anxiety.

You may also want to check out apps, virtual training, and fitness programs that will help you be active at home.

Get A Dog Or Cat

Physical activity like running, yoga, and exercise or even journaling can be the best way to reduce stress but getting a furry friend can help you cope up with social and emotional support too.

A study shows that people will less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a dog. In addition to the social support, stress relief, and general health benefits pets can bring, research supports the mood-enhancing benefits of pets.

It can also help control blood pressure while ACE inhibiting drugs can help reduce or control blood pressure, they were not effective in controlling blood pressure spikes caused by stress and tension. Research has concluded since the mid-1980’s that there are positive physiological effects, especially lowered blood pressure, to petting dogs and social interaction with companion animals. Touch, the actual act of petting the dog, appeared to be the major component of the so-called pet effect.

Put A Break On Social Media

The information we consumed whether positive or negative has an impact on our overall well-being. We can’t argue the fact that we always turn to social media when we’re bored, and I can’t blame you. We are human beings and we always long for social connections with others, and as an alternative to some, we turn to social media for social networking to easily initiate and establish social connections.

According to a survey from the American Psychological Association (APA), constantly checking your smartphone has been linked with stress. The APA’s annual Stress in America survey was released in two parts in 2017, with the first section focusing on coping with change and the second installment focusing on the stress of technology and social media.

It is critical to set a schedule a time intended only for social media or a break if you can. Too much scrolling and networking on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and etc have the potential to weaken friendships than those built-in real-life, increase the risk of feeling left out or inadequate, increase the risk of stress, depression, and internet addiction, and potential disruptions in sleep patterns.

It is important to find balance between the digital world and real life connections.

What This Means To You

At a time of national emergency, you need to find alternatives to get through and remain afloat. If bills are piling up, don’t panic. Know your priorities and work on the things that you can control rather than worrying about the things you can’t (ex: state of the economy). It is important to acknowledge the emotions that we’re feeling but never dwell on those emotions because it will either break you or make you. Reaffirm to yourself that you can go through this, utilize this opportunity to reflect on how you can improve yourself to be better, and lastly pray, trust me, it works. He never sleeps and will always listen to your plead.



Joshua Romero

Writes about Psychology & Emotional Intelligence | Transformation & Innovation | E: joshua.romero@paylagroups.com