Unemployed and Depressed: How to Cope With Being an Unemployed Father


According to the latest statistics, 36.5 million jobs have been lost in the last two months in the United States. Times are tough right now, and job security is almost nonexistent for many Americans.

Many people are having to deal with a new reality of being unemployed and it can be a really tough situation, especially for families. Being a provider for a family and not knowing how you’ll be able to take care of your family can cause a lot of stress, especially as a father.

Being unemployed and depressed as a father can take a toll on you, but there are ways to cope and get through this new situation. Continue reading to learn some of our suggestions.

Process the Situation

Losing a job is a loss like any other, and it’s okay to take the time to process the situation you find yourself in. It’s actually a very important step to take for your own mental health and the wellbeing of the people you love.

It’s a scary situation to live with uncertainty, especially as a provider and a father. Taking the time to process your emotions is one of the first things you should do after becoming unemployed.

It’s ok for your child to see you struggle with a bit of sadness and frustration but try to cope with these emotions in a healthy way. When a child sees that you are working through a tough time, it makes them feel confident that everything will be okay.

Talk With Your Children

The effects of unemployment on families can be devastating, especially on children. It doesn’t have to be this way though. It’s important to talk to your children in the most age-appropriate way about your current situation.

Kids are smart and they can sense when things at home are different. Talking with them about the situation without explaining every detail will help them understand your hardships and ease any anxieties they may have. Try to plan out what you’ll say to them in advance so that you can speak confidently and reassure your child.

Reach out for Support

It’s incredibly important to have a strong support system around you in times of trouble. Having people to lean on or even just talk to will help you get through the tough times.

It’s very easy to isolate after a loss, you feel alone and like no one else can understand what you’re going through. You might even feel like talking to others about your problems will give them an unnecessary burden but the people who care will do their best to help you in any way they can.

It’s crucial for you to surround yourself with good and positive people. These are the people that will motivate you to process your loss and help guide you toward tangible solutions.

Give Kids Some More Responsibility

The impact of unemployment on families can be quite devastating. Parents who lose their jobs feel added stress and anxiety about the future. You might feel like because you lost your job you have to carry all of the burden and responsibilities yourself, but it’s important to work through things as a family.

Kids understand when their family is struggling and want to help in any way they can, and it’s okay to let them do so. Small additional tasks that won’t be too big of a burden on your kid are acceptable ways to ask for help. Some examples include having your child help set the table for dinner or having them set out their school clothes on their own.

Unemployment can have a hard hit on your finances. You might eventually have to get some personal loans for bad credit.

A way to have your child take on a bit more responsibility is having them find ways to have family fun inexpensively. Have your kid write up a list of fun and affordable family activities like playing some ball in the yard or baking cookies together on the weekend.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Being unemployed and depressed can take a toll on your physical health. It’s vital to learn to cope by keeping healthy through exercise and nutritious meals.

Exercise isn’t only crucial for your health, but it can improve your mindset. Healthy meals will also give you the energy needed to get through each day.

Keep a Routine

Having a job, especially a 9 to 5, gives you stability and routine. Losing that job might throw you off balance and make you want to sulk on the couch every day.

It’s incredibly important to keep a consistent routine through unemployment, however. This will help you stay focused and mentally stable to get through the rough patch and make it to the other side of things.

Get Some Professional Counseling

Surrounding yourself with positive things, and people during hard times can make a significant difference. However, sometimes unemployed parents might need some extra help to process all the sudden changes in their lives.

If you find yourself struggling excessively with your emotions during unemployment, seeking out some professional counseling can help you cope in a healthy way. Counseling will give you a different perspective on what’s going on and might help you find the right path to the next stage of your life.

Start Looking for a New Job

The final step in coping with being an unemployed father is to start seeking out new work opportunities. Once you’ve taken care of your emotional health and feel that you and your family are in a stable place, start seeking out some potential employers.

Remember to be patient as the process might take a bit longer than expected but having the motivation and right attitude will get you far.

How to Cope With Being Unemployed and Depressed

Being an unemployed and depressed father can take a toll on your life and your family. There are steps you can take in order to learn how to cope and move forward.

Some of our suggestions are listed above. Make sure to read some of our other blogs to learn more ways to help yourself.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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