How to keep your sanity while unemployed
I feel that I can speak directly on this topic as it took me two years to find a job (which ends next Sept.) and my husband was laid off twice during the same time.
- volunteer - it gets you out of the house and communicating with people face to face. Unemployment can be very isolating and if you don't nip the pjs and Net in the bud you'll start doubting yourself. Get out there! I still volunteer at the Community Centre because it's a great group of people, it's in line with my personal values and I get a free pass.
- try and relax - probably the most difficult thing to do during this time.
- ask for help - there are many government funded programs out there to assist you if you're on unemployment or social assistance. You just need to swallow your pride and ask for it. I was lucky to be directed to the right program after finally admitting I needed a hand dealing with things. If you're like me and not into 'support' groups there are one on one sessions available at most places. My employment 'counsellor' helped me spruce up my resume, clean up my cover letter and practice interview skills that I'm confident helped me land my current job. Hey, just because you hold a graduate degree and have brought in six figures doesn't mean you're immune to the pink slip. Be human - it's humbling.
- don't apply for jobs everyday - give it a break for a week and enjoy your time off.
- tell people you're independently wealthy when they ask you what you do - it's a good conversation starter and shows you have the ability to laugh at yourself. I guarantee you they'll remember you and who knows maybe they may know someone who's hiring.
- walk - everywhere.
- communicate with your friends and family about how you're feeling. My friends were/are amazing and supportive. They kept me fed and watered.
- get to know the coffee shop crew, cashiers, gas station attendants and other folks in your neighbourhood. It feels good to be acknowledged by name and asked how your day is going. Remember the crowd at Cheers?
- Get into a routine right away - even if it's going for a walk to the library or community centre.
- dream big - whatever your definition of big may be.
- write a blog - this is how Bijou Living was conceived.