Dealing with Layoff Anxiety, Some Advice for a Tough Time

Discover practical tips and techniques for navigating the challenges of layoff anxiety and finding greater peace of mind during this uncertain time.

5 min readFeb 20, 2023
Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash

As employees, we may experience layoff anxiety from time to time, worrying that we could lose our job without warning.

This uncertainty can lead to checking our email more often than necessary and working longer hours to prove ourselves. With a potential recession on the horizon, job security has become a growing concern for many of us.

Worrying about being laid off isn’t just upsetting, it can also harm our mental and emotional health. Studies show that job insecurity can affect our motivation and concentration, and may even lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

What’s more, the fear of being fired could make it more likely to happen, as we may struggle to perform at our best when feeling overwhelmed or helpless.

Our anxiety around job loss could lead us to overcompensate in ways that aren’t always helpful. For example, we may work harder but also become more scattered and disorganized, which could create the impression that we’re not able to manage our workload effectively.

By managing our layoff anxiety proactively and collaboratively, we can reduce our stress, improve our mental health, and increase our chances of retaining our job during difficult times.

How to Overcome Layoff Anxiety

Concerns about job security can cause negative thought patterns and increased stress levels. To manage your emotions and reduce anxiety, it’s essential to confront layoff anxiety head-on. By taking these steps, you can regain a sense of control and reduce anxiety during this challenging time.

Separating fact from fiction is crucial when dealing with layoff anxiety

Often, the stories we tell ourselves are not based on fact, and it’s important to watch our thoughts. We may tend to jump to conclusions, making assumptions about a situation without examining the evidence.

For instance, if your team leader takes longer than usual to reply to a message, you may start to believe that you’re not a valued employee anymore or that you’re not important enough to be responded to promptly. However, it’s crucial to recognize that your thoughts are merely interpretations of a person’s behavior and not necessarily facts.

To avoid overreacting, try to objectively look at the evidence in front of you. Ask yourself some questions, such as:

  • Do you have less work to do than normal?
  • Has your manager asked you to reduce expenses where possible?
  • Have sales been down for a while now?

If you answered “no” to most of these questions, there may not be a reason to worry. But if you still find yourself feeling anxious, relaxation techniques such as breathwork and meditation can help you to calm your mind and regain your focus.

Take Control Amid Layoff Concerns

Taking action in the face of job insecurity can help you feel more empowered and in control. Start by assessing your current work situation: are you contributing to the company’s success, and are you working on high-priority projects? If not, consider talking to your employer about how you can better align your efforts with the company’s goals. Stay informed about any restructuring or downsizing plans that could affect your position.

But it’s not just about what you do at work. Building and maintaining a strong professional network can be invaluable during uncertain times. Reconnect with former colleagues or attend networking events to expand your circle. And don’t forget to update your resume and online profiles to reflect your latest accomplishments and skills. By taking these steps, you’ll be better prepared to weather any employment challenges that come your way.

Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario

Worrying about being laid off can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it’s important to face the possibility head-on. While it’s not healthy to dwell on it too much, preparing for the worst-case scenario can help alleviate some of the anxiety.

Take some time to think about what you would do if you were let go from your job. Picture the steps you would take to find a new job, manage your finances, and adjust to a different routine.

Even though the thought of losing your job can be uncomfortable, mentally preparing for it can provide you with a sense of control over the situation. Having a plan of action in place can help you make the most of a challenging situation.

By mapping out your potential next steps, you can develop a clearer understanding of what you need to do in case you are laid off. This approach can also help you identify areas where you may need to focus your energy to stay competitive in your field or to find new opportunities.

The goal is to be proactive and use your worries to motivate you to take action toward securing your future.

Consider Your Strengths to Overcome Layoff Anxiety

Layoff anxiety can make it hard to see your strength and resilience, but it’s important to remind yourself of all the obstacles you’ve already overcome in life.

A study found that reflecting on past accomplishments can lead to higher levels of well-being. When faced with layoff anxiety, think about what strengths have helped you through tough times in the past and what opportunities have presented themselves afterward.

This exercise is a powerful reminder of how far you’ve come and can give you the confidence to handle whatever comes next.

Don’t let layoff anxiety take control of your mind. By learning to manage your thoughts and taking positive steps, you can handle any situation that comes your way healthily and productively. Remember that you have the strength and resilience to overcome this obstacle and come out even stronger on the other side.


Dealing with layoff anxiety can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone.

By taking steps to manage your mind and emotions, focusing on the facts, preparing for the worst-case scenario, and reminding yourself of your past successes, you can get through this difficult time.

Remember to stay positive, stay connected, and be proactive in creating a plan for your future. With the right mindset and support, you can come out of this experience stronger than ever before.




A Full-Stack Web Developer who helps entrepreneurs start their digital business