5 ways to cope if you're laid off during the holidays

During the holiday season, all you want is time away from the office spent with those you love, so you can start the new year feeling recharged. That’s why layoffs at such a pleasant time — when you’re really looking forward to letting your guard down—  feel like the worst-case scenario.

Here’s how to cope if you get the axe.

(Try to) Leave on a high note

You’ll want to leave the job on good terms. So as horrifying as the situation may seem, don’t put on a show of dramatic emotions or act in a way that embarrasses yourself or your team.

As Ladders reader Mike once showed us, it’s important to leave a good impression on your way out.

Try to enjoy time with loved ones as much as possible

I know, I know, this is a lot easier said than done. But it’s worth a shot.

As long as no one pesters you too long for the play-by-play on how you were laid off, spending time with friends and family could be the key to moving forward. They can help remind you that your future still has a lot in store for you.

Hit the gym

You have to keep moving.

J.T. O’Donnell, Founder and CEO of WorkItDaily.com, writes in Inc. that people who lose their jobs over the holidays should work out every day.

“It’s normal to go through a grieving process when we lose a job. The fear, anger, doubt, denial, etc. It’s important to allow yourself to process your feelings, but don’t let it take too long,” she writes. “The sooner you can see the possibility of landing a new, more interesting job, the sooner you’ll be in the right state of mind to network, interview, and land a new position. One of the best ways to cope is to exercise. The endorphins will give you a mental and physical boost. You’ll need your strength. Plus, exercising will be a stress reliever, a confidence builder, and a mood enhancer.”

Spend on gifts within your means

You don’t have to overdo it.

Chrissy Scivicque, Founder and CEO of the site Eat Your Career, writes in U.S. News & World Report that if you were recently fired, you should “cut back on extravagant gifts” during the holidays.

“No doubt you’re feeling the financial uncertainty of unemployment. That’s totally normal! This time of year can create added strain, especially if you’re used to buying extravagant gifts for loved ones,” she writes. “Don’t allow your history of generosity to push you into unwise spending. You need to make some adjustments to account for the current situation. Your loved ones will understand – it’s not about the gifts, and it never was. Focus on giving fewer, more meaningful, gifts instead.”

Try to be as positive as possible during the job hunt

Think about the new year — instead of seeing a blank page, let yourself feel negative for a short instant, and then get back to the grind. Your drive (and maybe even sanity) will thank you.

After all, you’re still here, so you might as well make your time worthwhile and work toward what you’ve always wanted.