Coping with job loss and unemployment stress tip 4: Take care of yourself
The stress of job loss and unemployment can take a toll on your health. Now more than ever, it’s important to take care of yourself. That means looking after your emotional and physical needs and making stress management a priority.
Tips for managing unemployment stress:
• Maintain balance in your life. Don’t let your job search consume you. Make time for fun, rest, and relaxation—whatever revitalizes you. Your job search will be more effective if you are mentally, emotionally, and physically at your best.
• Make time for regular exercise. Exercise can be a great outlet for stress and worry while you’re unemployed and looking for work. It is also a powerful mood and energy booster. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.
• Get plenty of sleep. Sleep has a huge influence on your mood and productivity. Make sure you’re getting between 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. It will help you keep your stress levels under control and maintain your focus throughout your job search..
• Practice relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are a powerful antidote to stress. They also boost your feelings of serenity and joy and teach you how to stay calm and collected in challenging situations—including job loss and unemployment.
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Staying positive during a long job search
A long job search can wear on your attitude and outlook, especially if you’re unemployed. If it’s taking you longer than anticipated to find work, the following tips can help you stay focused and upbeat.
• Keep a regular daily routine. When you no longer have a job to report to every day, you can easily lose motivation. Treat your job search like a regular job, with a daily “start” and “end” time. Following a set schedule will help you be more efficient and productive while you’re unemployed.
• Create a job search plan. Avoid getting overwhelmed by breaking big goals into small, manageable steps. Instead of trying to do everything at once, set priorities. If you’re not having luck in your job search, take some time to rethink your goals.
• List your positives. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself, including skills, personality traits, accomplishments, and successes. Write down projects you’re proud of, situations where you excelled, and things you’re good at. Revisit this list often to remind yourself of your strengths.
• Volunteer. Unemployment and job loss can wear on your self-esteem and make you feel useless. Volunteering helps you maintain a sense of value and purpose. And helping others is an instantaneous mood booster. Volunteering can also provide career experience, social support, and networking opportunities.
• Focus on the things you can control. You can’t control how quickly a potential employer calls you back or whether or not they decide to hire you. Rather than wasting your precious energy on things that are out of your hands, turn your attention to things you can control during your unemployment,, such as writing a great cover letter and resume tailored to the company you want to work for and setting up meetings with your networking contacts.
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