Tips for Managing Stress While Unemployed


Becoming unemployed can involve a lot of change all at once, and it’s normal to feel angry, depressed, or anxious about what the future holds. And then, if after going to interviews you hear nothing, or worse, receive rejections, feelings of frustration, anger, and anxiety can increase, causing you more stress. While the stress can seem overwhelming, there are things you can do to take control of the situation and maintain your spirits. Here are some tips to help you navigate through:


1. Create a Job Search Plan

Plan time each day, at a set time, to search for jobs. Avoid getting overwhelmed by breaking larger goals into small, manageable steps. For example, you might decide that you will spend two hours each morning searching for three or four jobs that you’re interested in. Then, each afternoon, you will fill out applications for those jobs. Having a plan for each day can help you make the most of your working hours, and help prevent feelings of self-recrimination at the end of the day.


2. Keep a Bit of Structure in Your Life

When you no longer have a job to report to, you may have a tendency to watch TV all day, stay in bed, go out late at night, and get little or too much sleep. Instead, set your alarm for a reasonable wake-up time each morning and, as tempting as it may be not to, shower and dress. Decide on an appropriate start and stop time for the day, with regular times for exercise and networking, and structure your schedule accordingly. Keeping a bit of structure in your life can help you be more efficient and productive, which can reduce stress.


3. Don’t Isolate

Many people feel ashamed or embarrassed about being unemployed and isolate themselves from friends and family. Don’t underestimate the importance of friends and family when you’re faced with the stress of unemployment. Friends and family can provide encouragement and support during your job search. Instead of putting yourself in exile, surround yourself with people that can help you make it through this difficult time with minimal stress and anxiety.


4. Volunteer

While unemployment can wear on your self-esteem, volunteering can help you maintain a sense of value and purpose. Consider volunteering for a charity or nonprofit organization. You can list volunteer work on your resume which demonstrates that you’ve remained engaged and active during your time of unemployment. Plus, helping others has the added benefit of being an instantaneous mood booster.


5. Get Out and Move About

If work commitments kept you from exercising regularly before, it’s important to take the time now. Exercise is one of the best stress relievers, and it can boost your mood. An added benefit is a change of scenery - sitting at home in front of the computer can make anyone lose focus. Movement and fresh air can clear the cobwebs and help you stay positive.


6. Eat Well

Your diet may seem like the last thing you should concern yourself about when you’re faced with unemployment, but what you put in your body can have an impact on how much energy you have and how positive you feel. Try and reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones. Taking care of your health is vital in managing stress caused by unemployment.


7. Gain New Skills

View your unemployment as an opportunity to gain new skills. Subscribe to blogs, download free guides, read online articles or books. Adding new skills to your resume can be a great way to keep forward momentum and a positive attitude throughout your job search.


8. Ask For Help If Needed

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your situation, and it does not improve over time, reach out for help. Try consulting an online job seekers’ forum for a dose of anonymous support. If you feel like you are struggling with a more serious mental health issue, seek professional help. This is a difficult time - you do not have to struggle through it alone. Conclusion You may have found yourself without a job, but there is no need to despair. By planning out your days, maintaining structure, and relying on a strong support system, you can use this time to become a better, healthier, you.



You may have found yourself without a job, but there is no need to despair. By planning out your days, maintaining structure, and relying on a strong support system, you can use this time to become a better, healthier, you.

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