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Managing Unemployment Stress

3 Tips to make the most of this transition

Unemployment is a major and often unexpected life transition, and can feel very stressful and hopeless. Looking for a new job is a taxing process that takes a significant amount of time and energy.

Coupled with the potential feeling of defeat that can accompany unemployment, finding a new job can feel like a Sisyphean task. Culturally, Americans are taught to value “hard work”, and one’s identity can become synonymous with one’s profession. 

Stress, anxiety, and even mild depression from unemployment is normal.

Looking for a job is challenging, especially when the job search is an unexpected and time sensitive one. Finances can create additional stress and pressure during this time.

Unemployment creates a feeling that there is not enough time in the day, and making plans can feel particularly scary, as making any sort of commitment, in theory, could hinder your job search.

It’s important to remember to take care of yourself during this stressful time.

Feeling positive and confident can only help you to find your new job. Here are a few things that can help you feel good about yourself during this uncertain period.

  1. Keep a routine. It may be tempting to sleep in, watch TV all day, and not take care of your regular commitments. This can make unemployment stress and depression worse.

    A schedule is important to help maintain a sense of purpose. Even if your schedule consists of waking up, doing errands, and spending half an hour on your resume, these seemingly small tasks can help to keep you in a positive mindset.

  2. Don’t burn yourself out with applications. If you apply to 15 jobs in the first day, chances are you are going to feel depleted when you open your computer the next morning.

    Pace yourself, network, do research, and don’t feel like you have to constantly be applying for jobs all day everyday.

  3. Cultivate a hobby. Working all day can leave little time for other passions. Now is your time to volunteer in your community, take up a new craft project, explore parks in your town, or any other activity that you enjoy.

    Taking care of yourself during this time, including leisure activities, is crucially important for maintaining a positive outlook.

  4. Ask for help. Everyone who has a job has once been unemployed and can empathize with what you’re going through. Your friends, family members, acquaintances, and old co workers can be tremendous resources in helping you find your new job. 

Feeling overwhelmed during this time is normal and expected. If you are feeling overly irritable, unmotivated to take care of yourself or your home, or unable to determine a path forward, seeking therapy can provide the support you need during this uncertain time.

Call me at 217.203.2008 to schedule an appointment or email me [email protected]