Fri, Jun 1, 2012
Being unemployed, for whatever reason, can be very stressful and it is easy for a person in this situation to become demoralised and go into a downward spiral. To avoid this, you need to develop a strategy for staying positive during unemployment. It is often impossible to know how long it will take you to find a job, and this is inherently anxiety-provoking. Your strategy should include ways of structuring your time so as to give you a sense of control and progress towards your goal.
A structure for the day
Work provides the basic structure of most days for people in employment. If you don’t have a job you need to create a new structure for your days. This will include time for the process of job-hunting, and you may find it helpful to have set times for starting and finishing this each day. It is also good to take some exercise every day. This can help in several ways during unemployment – it breaks up the day and gives you a change of scene. Vigorous exercise can also raise the level of endorphins in your body. These are naturally-occurring chemicals which lift your mood. In other words, just doing something physical is likely to help you feel better.
Working as a volunteer
A lack of relevant experience is sometimes a barrier to getting a job, but how do you get experience if you don’t have a job? The answer can be through voluntary work. For instance if you are looking for shop work you can volunteer in a charity shop. Through this you can both gain experience and fill your time in a useful way. Unemployment can be isolating and on your own it is easy to sink into negative thoughts, but if you volunteer you will probably be working with other people, which will take you out of yourself. Doing something to help others is also a way of boosting your morale and self-esteem. Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t and this will help you stay positive until you find a new job.
Picture: Sergej Khackimullin – Fotolia