"The sudden loss of a job is challenging at any time, but finding yourself unemployed during a global health crisis can create a psychological perfect storm."

By Emily Abbate
May 15, 2020
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Right now, things can feel like a lot. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has many people staying inside, isolating themselves from others, and, as a result, feeling pretty anxious overall. And while baking banana bread or taking a free online workout class can be a great way to take your mind off things, Headspace wants to help you take your self-care a step further. This week, the company announced that it's offering a free, one-year subscription to all unemployed people in the United States.

This news comes in the wake of skyrocketing unemployment numbers in the U.S. as the country grapples with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. People are not only facing financial hardships but also an extraordinary mental health burden.

To help ease that burden, Headspace is offering all unemployed people in the U.S. a free, one-year subscription to Headspace Plus, which includes over 40 courses of themed meditations (sleep, mindful eating, etc.), mini mindfulness sessions for super busy meditators, dozens of one-off exercises to help you add more mindfulness to your day, and so much more. The app is also launching a collection of meditations dedicated to living through unemployment, including guided sessions to help adapt to sudden change, cope with sadness and loss, and find purpose. (Related: How My Lifelong Anxiety Has Actually Helped Me Deal with the Coronavirus Panic)

"The sudden loss of a job is challenging at any time, but finding yourself unemployed during a global health crisis—amid the backdrop of physical distancing and isolation, 24/7 news cycles, lack of social support, and economic insecurity—can create a psychological perfect storm," says Megan Jones Bell, chief science officer at Headspace. "As we watched the unemployment rate escalate, we really felt strongly that we needed to open Headspace and our mental health resources up to those who need us the most."

ICYMI, Headspace previously extended free access to Headspace Plus through the end of 2020 for all U.S. healthcare professionals who work in public health settings. (Related: 5 Steps to Working Through Trauma, According to a Therapist Who Works with First Responders)

Regardless of what you do for a living, for anyone feeling the stress of the pandemic, maintaining a sense of agency over your mind is crucial right now, says Megan Monahan, a Los Angeles-based meditation teacher and author of Don't Hate, Meditate!. Meditation apps such as Headspace can be an excellent way to develop those healthy mindfulness practices. "When we get to practice [mindfulness], noticing what's happening around us (and within us), we establish a space wherein we can decide how we want to respond," explains Monahan. (Related: All the Benefits of Meditation you Should Know About)

To redeem your free Headspace Plus subscription, register at the Headspace website by providing a few details about your recent employment.

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