In April last year, Namit and Shahana Verma* had to deal with an unexpected turn of events, and life as they knew it would never be the same. Given that the global pandemic had devastating effects on the economy, Namit and 40 of his co-workers were called into an emergency meeting where they were all given the pink slip. Considering that the couple were expecting their first child, the news came as quite a shock. If that’s not all, most of the household expenses were managed by Namit’s income. To make ends meet, Shahana dove headfirst into her home baking business, began marketing her baked goods, and did all she could to step in till he was back on his feet.
Seeing how her business was booming, Namit decided to devote his time and energy to brand and market their venture. And the rest, is history. “It’s been a bumpy road, and we know that we have a long way to go. But Shahana and I have managed to find our footing,” says a cheerful Namit. The couple welcomed their bundle of joy in October last year, and have now hired a pastry chef to help with their ever-increasing orders.
While Namit and Shahana managed to find their footing, they are not the only ones who have been met with difficulties. With the changing economy, according to a report by the Centre For Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), a staggering 11.9 million working professionals have faced the brunt of being laid off and given the pink slip in the past year owing to the pandemic. This, in turn, has led to many other problems like mental health issues, or families breaking up. However, these circumstances do not always warrant such extreme results. If you find yourself in a similar situation, there’s always things you can do to help. Read on to know more:
Be Their Support System
In a situation like this, the best thing you can do is to just be there for your partner. Losing a job can feel like a personal failure and may even lead to feelings of humiliation. At such times, allow them to grieve peacefully. However, from time to time, be their cheerleader. Words of encouragement can help more than you know.
Help Re-examine Their Goals
It helps to try and see the situation in a positive light. Many times, people realise that what they were doing doesn’t align with their long-term goals. You could sit down with your partner and go over what they had planned versus the reality of their career graph. Your support in helping them set new goals can put things in perspective for your spouse.
Share The Load, But Don’t Unload
One way to take your partner’s mind off of the negative thoughts would be to ask if they could help out with tasks at home. The fact that they would be able to contribute in some way or the other to the household would make them feel good. However, be mindful to not overload them with chores or boss them around. That might trigger some feelings of resentment towards you and their current predicament.
While a helping hand is much needed in such state of affairs, there is a fine line between providing support and outright coaxing. You may want to help your partner find a job at the earliest, but it is important to keep in mind that finding a job you’re fit for takes time. Try to not push them into applying for every vacancy that you come across, as this will most likely make them feel pressured, and undermine everything you’ve been trying to do so far.
Remind Them Of Their Strengths
It is easy to focus on the negatives and neglect the positives in difficult situations. This is the time you should compliment your spouse and speak about their many strengths, highlighting their skillset, and emphasizing the fact that this is a minor setback that they will power through.
Explore Their Interests
With some time on your hands, you can both explore what your partner is interested in, or even find common interests that you can indulge in. It could be anything from a physical activity, a home décor project, jamming to your favourite songs, or a craft. In fact, try and find a mutual activity that will make you spend time outdoors. A change in air, and scenery can help lift their spirit.
*Names have been changed to protect individual privacy