5 Ways Unemployment Affects Your Health

You probably know that unemployment can bring about a lot of stress, frustration and financial troubles, but did you that unemployment can also affect your health? A fulfilling career is essential for a well-balanced life, but unfortunately, a lot of people sometimes find themselves without a job or any employment prospects in the near future. Here are some ways that unemployment can affect your health.

1. Depression

When you find yourself unemployed and unable to find a new job, you begin to feel negative feelings like frustration, inadequacy and low self-esteem. These negative feelings can build up and cause depression. Before you know it, you begin to feel like a failure without anything to look forward to in life. Needless to say, depression can take a serious toll on your general health. It helps to know that unemployment can happen to everyone, and with a little bit of perseverance, you can eventually get back on track.

2. Stress

Stress is one of the most common health effects of unemployment. The fact that you are out of a job and unable to find a new one is stressful enough by itself, but this is probably not the only thing that keeps you awake at night. When you are unemployed, you have trouble paying bills, debts and meeting other financial needs. Aside from this, your friends, family or partner may also add to your stress by telling you that you might not be trying hard enough. Add the fact that you need to spend a lot of effort, time and money in your job applications, and you will probably be unable to sleep at night at all. Stress is a major cause of many chronic problems, like heart disease and high blood pressure. To help you combat stress during these trying times, try to get a hobby or learn to practice meditation.

3. Unhealthy Habits

Money and health may seem unrelated at first, but when you think about it, you need some amount of money to be healthy these days – unless you own an organic farm. You need money to buy whole and healthy foods, buy medication when you get sick, make your home a good environment and in some occasions, get the right amount of exercise (gym membership, workout equipment). When you become unemployed, your funds also become limited. Limited funds can also limit your healthy lifestyle choices. For instance, instead of shopping for whole organic foods like you used to, you might need to settle for cheap foods despite their lack of nutrients. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to boost your health that doesn’t require money, such as running or hiking for exercise.

4. Isolation and Loneliness

As social beings, humans need relationships and interactions with other people in order to thrive. When you find yourself out of job, you lose contact with your co-workers. Socializing with friends also becomes less appealing when you are feeling depressed and you don’t have enough money to go out. The more time you spend alone, the more chance you get to wallow in your failures. The more you delve on your failures, the more upset and stressed you become, harming your health in the process. At this time of your life, it’s very important to reach out to your loved ones like family members and friends who can lend you support.

5. Risk of Substance Abuse

People who are unemployed also tend to increase their use of substances. Perhaps you smoke cigarettes to combat stress, drink alcohol to forget about your problems or even take drugs to make yourself feel better. These coping mechanisms can be detrimental to your health and well-being, so it’s best to avoid them.


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