I know that some of you might be thinking "the heck?" when looking at the title of this blog post because you probably think it's hard or there's nothing to be positive about when it comes to unemployment.
We all know that a negative mindset doesn't get anyone anywhere though...
It's very easy to sink into depression; especially if you're someone who is prone to, so today I'd like to talk about a few things that we can do to prevent that. I am saying we because as of last week, I too am unemployed. The company I was working for, like many companies in South Africa at the moment, is experiencing some difficulties.
Here are a few ideas about what to do and how you can stay positive in the face of unemployment:
Don't dwell on the fact that you've lost your job - what's done is done and it's something you can't change. Accept the fact that your term of employment has come to an end and start thinking of ways to move forward. There's no use in over-stressing about something you can't control.
Try to keep a positive mindset - At times it may be a challenge but always try to keep a positive mindset. Being negative will only make the situation more stressful and difficult to deal with but a positive mindset can go a long way.
Wake up and get busy - Try to avoid sleeping in and try to wake up like you did when you were going to work and find activities to keep you busy. Spring clean, job hunt (check the paper too), do some gardening or try to find a new hobby. Just try to find things to do during the time that you would normally be at work to keep yourself and your mind busy and distracted. This will hopefully prevent you from overthinking and getting depressed about not having a job.
Try to develop a schedule - Give yourself things to do throughout the day and plan your days if you can. Try to wake up at the same time every day and fill your time with various activities. Schedule time to job hunt every day and actually sit down and send out your job applications. For example; wake up, work-out, job hunt, etc.
Leave the house when you can - spending too much time cooped up at home can also leave you feeling depressed. Go for walks and visit friends and family if you can and use any excuse to get out of the house. You never know where or when you might meet someone with your next job opportunity but you won't meet them if you're cooped up in the house all the time.
You can even do some volunteer work if that interests you such as volunteering at a children's home or your local SPCA. Spending your time helping others can bring great positivity into your life and volunteering gives you something you can add to your CV that will give employers a positive image about you and increase your chances of getting hired.
Reconnect with old friends now that you have more free time - try not to isolate yourself as this might lead to depression over the fact that you're now unemployed. Catch up with your buddies when you can and even speak to them about your situation; you never know, they might be able to hook you up and connect you to people that could give you your next job.
Do some research on topics that interest you - look up topics that interest you such as your current hobbies, you might be able to turn them into your new career or alternatively you could discover new hobbies and ideas that could potentially bring income.
Also research some career-related topics, it will make you stand out in interviews if you have industry-related topics you can discuss with your potential employer.
Read - personally, I find reading very relaxing. It's a chance for me to discover new worlds and ideas and it helps to boost creativity as well as keep my mind off my worries; even if it's just for a moment.
Exercise - this is a great stress reliever and helps to improve your mood and overall mental health. Even if it's just a quick 20-minute workout; believe me you will feel the difference. I try to work out even when I'm not in the mood and when I'm not in the mood I usually opt for the quick 8 minute Teabo workout. It may sound really short but you can really work up a sweat. Try doing different types of exercise such as yoga, pilates, etc. You can even do it in the comfort of your own home via guided videos available free on YouTube.
I know we may not all have the luxury of doing some of these things because maybe your situation doesn't allow you to do so so please understand that I am writing purely from my perspective. I wasn't the breadwinner when I lost my job and have very few responsibilities in comparison to many people my age. I have no kids and I am still living at home so my basic living needs are covered.
There are so many people faced with unemployment, myself included and it gets really stressful at times. It's important to keep a positive mindset and to never give up and accept that your situation isn't going to change. It is!
Your next job will come along, just don't give up. If you have a talent that you can use to gain income the do that. Offer a service for a fee if you can. Whatever happens please just try to keep busy. If can you volunteer, do that and get out of the house as often as you can.
“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”