How to Stay Positive While Unemployed
By Rachel Jackson
Although it’s an unhealthy attitude, many people let their jobs define them. If you’re unemployed and it’s affecting your confidence or self worth, you won’t be the best version of yourself when you finally land your big interview. It’s important to stay positive during this time. The better the state you’re in, the more you’ll be able to bring to your future career. Self-care and mental health are important, and now is the right time to emphasize that importance.
Make the Most of Your Newfound Free Time
Think about everything you wanted to accomplish while you were working that you never got the chance to do. Sure, cleaning out the attic or the garage isn’t as fun as a trip to the theme park, but you’ll feel a lot better if those things aren’t weighing on the back of your mind. You’ll also be keeping your hands busy and being productive, and you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you solved a problem.
If the daunting chores have already been handled, look into inexpensive but fulfilling hobbies – especially hobbies that keep you active and outdoors. Flower and vegetable seeds cost as much as a pack of bubblegum, and the envelopes are stuffed full – you can buy thousands of seeds for less than a fast food lunch would cost you. You can use coffee grounds, eggshells, and other kitchen waste to make natural plant food. You’ve hardly spent any money, and now you’re a gardener.
Focus on Self Improvement
Your physical and mental health are tied together. Feeling bad physically leads to feeling bad mentally, and feeling bad mentally can lead to feeling bad physically. By creating a harmony between the two, you won’t feel bad at all.
Start writing a journal to reflect upon and organize your personal thoughts. It’s okay if things are bothering you – confronting them rather than ignoring them is productive. You’ll understand the origins of your feelings, recognize patterns, and be able to make changes that lead you to a better mindset.
Since you won’t be tired from working all day, you’ll have a little more time and energy to prepare healthy meals. Keep your body nourished with the things it needs to stay vital and work properly. Burn off some of that energy by taking a brisk walk after breakfast. Even if you don’t want to lose weight or change your body, taking time out for exercise will encourage your body to release mood-boosting endorphins that will help you keep your chin up.
Think About Your Career Future
Now is the best time to make any changes you’d like to make that can drastically reshape your career future. Maybe you’re tired of being an office assistant and you want to become an architect. Maybe you’re tired of working for someone else and you want to start your own business. Reflect on your happiness and what it will take for you to be happy moving forward.
If you weren’t that happy at your previous job, perhaps you should be glad that you no longer have to work there. Spend this time learning, reading, and developing your career skills so you never have to go back to an oppressive or unfulfilling work environment again. Maybe that means getting some extra schooling or a specialty certification. You might be able to start the process online, allowing you to continue learning at your own pace and around your own schedule even if you find a job sooner than you’d expected.
Pull In Some Extra Cash
Money is a huge contributor to stress. If being unemployed has left your household at a significant disadvantage as far as income is concerned, having a way to bring in some extra cash while you’re between jobs can help take some of that pressure off. Your earning potential largely involves on how involved you can be.
If you’d rather devote the most amount of time to your job search, there are plenty of simple ways to earn passive income. Things like sharing community sites allow you to monetize things you have but aren’t using. Do you never use your driveway? You can use a site like Parkhound to rent it out as a parking spot. It requires minimal effort on your part. If you have the time and a skill that can be offered remotely, you can turn to picking up small freelance gigs as a copywriter or a coder or a website builder to help you buy the essentials or pay a bill every month.
Don’t Let Your Job Search Dominate Your Life
If you spread yourself too thin during a perpetual job search, you’re going to come apart at the seams. Make sure you’re creating a daily schedule that involves checking job boards, sending out your resume, and checking your email. Stick to that schedule, and resist the urge to jump back online after you’ve finished for the day. If you’re stressed out during the search, you’ll be stressed out at the interview.
While it’s natural to have negative feelings when things aren’t working out the way you want them to, you need to remember that those negative feelings won’t change the situation. You never have anything to lose by remaining optimistic during trying times. As long as you’re putting in the effort, things will work out for you in due time.