We don’t need studies to show us that being unemployed can affect you emotionally. When people aren’t working they tend to be depressed, even with no clinical history of depression. But this can make finding a job harder, especially if you’re not aware of how it is affecting your behavior.
Is there anything you can do to prevent depression when you’re unemployed? Let’s look at options that may help your mental state–even after you get that new job.
Without a doubt, unemployment can affect your mood. We’ve probably all been there, even if for only a short time, feeling discontented as we’re struggling to overcome a difficult situation. For a few, it can become more serious and lead to deep depressions. And for others, it affects confidence and outlook enough to put you off course if you let it.
What to do if you feel seriously depressed.
If you are dealing with work issues and you feel hopeless about everything, get help. I’m not going to give you a list of symptoms for clinical depression, let a therapist decide. Call your local hospital or doctor to find free or sliding scale clinics near you. If you are religious ask your local leaders, or contact your town or city hall for more information. It’s out there, don’t take no for an answer.
What to do if your job search is taking a mental toll.
For others who may not have a medical issue but certainly have a serious problem, look at these as a few options, however there are many more ideas and lots of great things to read about on this subject.
Talk to someone because there’s nothing wrong with you. If you’re not working then normal mental stressors are going to come up–that’s reality. A few people handle these stressors easily, while they can trip up most of the rest of us. You may not need therapy, but if you’re human, you may need to vent, talk, or just let it out once in a while. Do this once a week to a friend, community leader, or trusted source.
Hire yourself. After all if you won’t, why should they right? You now work for you. Your job is to get a job and your pay is a bowl of oatmeal and a mile walk each day. Sorry, this job doesn’t pay well but that’s your best offer. What I am saying here is to treat the search as if it is your job, set times you work and only take breaks as you would in a real position. If you’re entire job is to get a job you have one focus–go after it. How does this affect your mood? It gives your days a purpose. (And might help you find a job.)
Nourish yourself. I’m going to try to not sound all Self-Helpy here but here’s the deal: Science has shown that eating right and exercising, can make a huge difference. Eating right and working out on a barely-there budget? Are you kidding? I’m not, I know it’s hard but use what you have to buy only healthy foods and if you can’t join the gym, not to worry you don’t even need one. Walking is a great way to spend time thinking and working out without weights in your living space can actually be beneficial.
Give. Volunteer. It’s an amazing experience and does so much even in small amounts. And it helps you to meet people! Socializing can keep your mood stable but it also can lead to finding work. Volunteering can also give you a deeper gratitude about life in general, and that helps in many ways.
Am I trying to be blindly positive even when it’s not possible? No, I know there are some devastating stories that are not made for happiness. Those are the people we all need to come together to help. If you know someone like that reach out.
For the rest of us, there are ways to get through a job search without losing your mind. These tips may not make you a happy dancing fool, but they can give you just enough to get through to better times.
This is a topic that has many aspects. Being this was just a quick overview of some options, we need to revisit this to see how your mood and attitude can actually affect the job search itself. For now, try to relax.
How to Put This Article Into Action:
- Contact a friend.
- Drink a gallon of water each day.
- Walk for at least 30 minutes.
Jason Veduccio is the author of The New American Dreamer: How to Land That Ideal Job in a Nightmare Economy. Click to buy.