10 Ways to Deal with Unemployment & Financial Adversity
The year 2020 is a shocking beginning to the decade that no one expected. With the world economy in shambles right now, many people are facing unemployment and struggling with money-related issues in a unique way.
But unemployment isn’t a new concept, of course. People have been facing job losses and inadequate job markets since the dawn of time. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect an individual in an intense manner. Unemployment leads to a host of life problems that extend beyond financial adversity. An unemployed person deals with several mental health issues from anger, anxiety, and depression to loss of self-confidence, lack of motivation, and career confusion, to name a few. Feeling like you are not in control of your own life can be devastating.
If it makes you feel any better, you’re not alone! And while it may seem like the end of the world, you are strong enough to make it through. You know what they say: the best part about hitting rock bottom is that there’s no place to go but up! In the meantime, here are some tips to help come with unemployment and get you through these trying times.
1. Prioritize Self-Care
Taking care of yourself is very important, especially at a time when you may be feeling like you are a failure. And hey, look at the bright side, not having to work means you have plenty of time to practice some much-needed self-care.
– Start with getting plenty of sleep. This is crucial since inadequate sleep has been associated with depressive thoughts and a loss in your ability to focus.
– Increase physical activity – in whatever form you prefer. It could be exercise, walking, cycling, gardening, or even dancing!
– Eat regular balanced meals that are abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins. Food is the fuel to your body, so gas up!
2. Follow a Daily Schedule
One of the biggest pitfalls of being unemployed is feeling unmotivated to do anything. Before you know it, the hours race by without you accomplishing anything and the days bleed into each other. One of the best ways to ensure that you stay on top of things is to follow a daily schedule.
Just like you would get up at a certain time, have breakfast, and go to work – have a schedule that caters to your new normal. Dedicate several hours to finding a new job, including learning new skills, working on resumes, applying for jobs, going to interviews, etc. Maybe you can even take up a temporary freelance gig to tide you over for now. Be consistent, but flexible. Structure the rest of your day too to ensure that laziness doesn’t take over!
3. Stress Management
Being unemployed is obviously a major cause of stress, but it is important to manage it in a healthy and productive way. Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques; identify triggers or the times of the day when you are feeling down so you can schedule some self-care time. Schedule job search activities during the time of the day when you are feeling your best.
4. Make a Downsized Budget
Losing your job and your source of income means you can’t spend as much as you used to. This is also not the time to give up on saving because an uncertain financial future is only going to add to your list of burdens. Having a budget is important now more than ever. If you already had one in place, it’s time to seriously downsize and cut back on costs!
5. Ask for Help
There’s nothing shameful about being unemployed and this is the time that you need the support of friends and family more than ever. Reach out to them, visit them more often, talk openly about what you’re going through with those close to you. Not only is this a cathartic release of your emotions, but it is also a good way to let people know that you’re looking for work. It’s also a good idea to contact your neighborhood club, local community center or crisis line to learn about all the resources available to you. Who knows from where you may come across new opportunities or job leads!
6. Search for Jobs Proactively
Everyone turns to online job sites and newspaper ads, but the problem with it is that every unemployed person is fighting for those spots. While these are not without merit, you may also want to take a more proactive approach when looking for jobs. Look up companies you would like to work for, send your resume to a range of employers, apply for a variety of positions, set up informational interviews, etc. Even if there aren’t any current openings, you never know when one might crop up!
Volunteering is a great way to build relations and network while also giving back to the community. You can end up learning new skills, honing current skills, and provide you with plenty of material for your resume. It’s also a good way to keep yourself falling into a funk during a difficult time as it will keep you occupied and make you feel like you are doing something worthwhile with your time.
8. Have a Positive Mindset
In times of adversity like this, it’s easy to fixate on all the negatives. However, this does no good and only serves to further your loss of motivation. Practice taking a seemingly unfortunate incident and turn it into something good. Didn’t get the job you interviewed for? Well, at least you got the interview! You can even ask the employer why you didn’t get the job and what he did like about you. This way you’ve got valuable information for your next one! Look at what you’ve accomplished instead of focusing on what you haven’t.
9. Maintain a sense of Humor
Smile, laugh, joke around, have fun, and look for the positives in any situation. The saying that laughter is the best medicine isn’t just an old adage, it is a fact that is proven by research and science! Having a good laugh reduces feelings of sadness, gets rid of stress, and enhances your overall health.
10. Be Gracious and Hopeful
As much as you are facing a tough time in your life, you still have so many things in your life that you should be thankful for. Look around you and take in everything you do have. Gratitude journaling can help keep immensely, or you can simply write down three things you are grateful for every day.
It’s also important to keep hope alive. You may be facing several rejections, but you only need one win so keep trying! Believe that there is an end to these difficult times and that you’re strong enough to see it through in one piece!