Not having a job can make many people depressed. This is particularly the case for those who have had a depression episode in the past – unemployment may cause those negative feelings to resurface. If you’re unemployed and feeling low, these are some of the things you can do to pick yourself up.
Realize you’re not in it alone
There are many people out there right now struggling to land a job. In fact, as this post from Shawn Meaike explains, unemployment is at an all time high as a result of the pandemic. It’s important to realize that you are not alone – even if your friends and family all have jobs, there are millions of people out there like you who don’t have a job. Try using internet forums or social media pages to connect to people who are also unemployed and depressed. It may make you feel less isolated knowing that other people are in the same boat.
Provide structure to your day
Without the structure provided by a job, some people lose their sense of routine. You may find yourself getting up late, skipping meals and possibly neglecting your appearance or hygiene. A great way to motivate yourself is to start treating job hunting like a job with strict ‘shifts’. This could include starting to look for jobs at 9am, taking a lunch break at 12 for an hour, and then continuing to look for jobs until 5pm. You could even try ‘dressing up’ as if you were going to work and possibly even heading to a coffee bar or library to do your job hunting to recreate the commute. This could make each day feel much more rewarding.
Don’t withdraw socially
Many of us who are unemployed tend to socially withdraw. Many people feel shameful of meeting new people and having to explain that they’re unemployed due to the stigma it has attached. A lack of income could also make it difficult to afford to meet up with friends. However, you don’t have to meet new people or spend any money. Simply going round a friend’s house or going for a walk with a friend could give you the social contact that you need. A healthy social life will help you to feel a lot happier.
Explore financial support options
Another cause of unemployment depression is financial struggles. Going from living on a relatively high income to unemployment benefits can be difficult. However, there is extra support out there. Sites like USAGov can help you to find the financial assistance you need, as well as this post. It could also be worth telling creditors about your situation – some may be willing to temporarily freeze or lower payments.
Enjoy some of the free time you have
Being jobless could be a golden opportunity to get things done around the house or develop your hobbies. It may even be an opportunity to relax if you were previously in a high-stress job. While it’s important to focus on getting a new job, don’t feel guilty taking a few days off to focus on other important things in your life that bring you joy.
Photo by Nathan Cowley