Being unemployed for a long period can be really depressing. Many times, those who are struggling with unemployment fight to stay positive and be strong. At first, unemployment may have seemed like a welcome vacation. But soon, loneliness and discouragement set in, and the world seems dark. Using these tips, you can keep yourself as sanely as possible.
Be patient with yourself
It is completely normal to feel sad, worried, frustrated, angry, and lonely. When you are open and honest about this with your loved ones, you allow others to help you and be patient with you.
Stay mentally active
Look for ways to keep your brain active during this time. Take free computer classes at the local career center, joined a book club at the local library, do a crossword puzzle, and be sure to keep up with the news. It is easy to turn your brain off for a time, and you may need a break. But be sure to quickly get back in the groove of being mentally active.
Maybe you will research one new job leads each day. Maybe you will make five phone calls every day. Maybe you will reach out to one new person every week. Whatever you believe is reasonable and helpful in your situation, make a point to stick to that schedule.
Spend time with others
When unemployed, it can be very easy to make the terrible mistake of isolating yourself. You may feel too ashamed to spend time with friends and feel like you do not even deserve to have social time. The truth is, however, that you need the support of good friends and family to keep motivated. You can be great at encouraging ourselves, but relying on your own self-esteem is too big of a risk to take. Instead of putting yourself in exile, surround yourself with good people that will encourage and inspire you.
Always look to the future
Evaluate your situation daily. Write down everything that you have accomplished so far and think about what has and has not been working. Make sure you’re staying open to new types of job opportunities that would serve as a temporary buffer. You may even end up shifting your career entirely, going for a new avenue that is closer to what you really want. The key is to always be looking to the future with optimism, ensuring yourself that there is always a backup plan.
Validate your feelings. Your income has decreased, your future is uncertain, and you may lack a sense of purpose. But your world has not crumbled. Your work does not define all of who you are as a person. Be realistic about the time frame for gaining new employment, and understand that you are more than this situation.
By Damilola Faustino
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