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8 Ways to Stay Sane While Looking for a Job

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Carrie enjoys teaching, acting, crocheting, hand dyeing yarn and painting. She continues to discover new hobbies.

What to Do While You Look for a Job

I quit my job that was making me extremely unhappy and taking a toll on my physical and mental health. After committing two months to applying for anything and everything that related to my skill set and getting no response, I became very depressed and discouraged. I finally packed up a moving van and drove across two states to move in with my sister so I could pay less rent.

I continued the job search again, but was more committed to discovering ways to make the process more bearable. I found oodles of articles on how to get a job, how to improve your resume and how to conduct yourself in an interview. What I really needed was guidance on what to do to keep myself from spiraling downward while waiting for applications to turn into interviews.

Below are eight suggestions that helped me enjoy life more during the job hunt.

Spending all day applying for jobs can be counterproductive and lead to increased anxiety and depression.

Spending all day applying for jobs can be counterproductive and lead to increased anxiety and depression.

8 Ways to Stay Sane During the Job Hunt

1. Commit to Simple, Daily Practices and Rituals

Whether your daily practice includes meditation, a workout, or just sipping tea, it's helpful to have something you can count on every day to help you feel stable and grounded. You can find many articles online for daily practices. Check out 8 Simple Daily Practices to Become the Best Version of Yourself.

2. Set a Limit on Your Job Searching

Spending hours, day after day, applying for jobs can lead to more stress and become counterproductive. Decide in advance how much time, or how many applications you are going to submit each day (or week). Put a limit on the hunt so you don't wear yourself out or get too depressed. It's okay to take time off from job hunting to keep your spirits up!

3. Get out of the House Every Day

Find opportunities to get out every day. Time away gives you a fresh perspective, opportunity to communicate with others and is a healthy way to take your mind off of worrying. Here are three options that won't drain your pocketbook:

  • Visit a library: Get lost in a book, check out some books on tape, or thumb through magazines. Libraries are pleasant places to hang out for an hour, or two, and there is often one within walking distance. If you don't have internet at home, most libraries are a great place to use the internet. I like to explore different libraries to get a change of scenery. Don't go just to spend more time looking for jobs. Choose something to read or do that you enjoy. Click here to find your Public Library.
  • Grab a coffee or tea: Visiting a new coffee shop or finding comfort in a favorite hangout can be a good mood booster. A cup of tea typically costs less than a cup of coffee. You can also network in coffee shops. Keep your eyes and ears open!
  • Take a walk: Take a stroll down the street, through a park or inside a mall. A short walk once or twice a day lifts the mood and allows that Vitamin D from the sun to work its magic. To find walking trails near you go to Trail Link.

4. Research Assistance Programs

It's better to do a little research before you actually need assistance so you aren't stuck worrying and waiting for support when you need it most. To find out what assistance is available, click on Government Benefits and SNAP Eligibility.

5. Explore Meetup.com

Meetup and similar websites are great gathering places for people who want to share experiences without feeling like they are caught in a dating circuit. You can create your own group or search for groups that share your interests and needs.

6. Make Time for Friends

If you have friends you can meet with during the day, do it! Nothing can lift your spirits or spark new ideas like a chat with a good friend. Avoid negative people who bring your spirits down but also be mindful not to avoid everyone because you are feeling ashamed of not have a job . . . yet. Make time for meaningful connections.

7. Enjoy a Favorite Hobby or Explore a New One

Is there something you've been curious about? The internet and YouTube are wonderful resources for "How To" and "DIY" (Do it Yourself) projects. It doesn't matter if you are good at it, or not. There is something satisfying in risking and trying something new. I learned to crochet just by watching YouTube videos for beginners. You might be pleasantly surprised at how one idea can lead to another. Getting your creative juices flowing can help boost your mood and allow new ideas for income to bubble up. Embrace something new!

8. Give Yourself Permission to Enjoy Life

It's easy to feel guilty taking time away from the job hunt, however, doing things that put your mind and body into a positive state is actually very important. Exploring new hobbies, new places and visiting familiar people and places that bring you comfort, will lift your spirits and pay off when that request for an interview does come your way. It's much easier to respond with confidence and be focused when you are feeling good about yourself.

Limit time spent applying for jobs and allot time for mood boosting activities to help make the search more pleasant.

Limit time spent applying for jobs and allot time for mood boosting activities to help make the search more pleasant.

Remember the Job Will Materialize Eventually!

You will find the right fit in time. Sometimes it takes a little longer than you'd like. Okay, sometimes it takes a LOT longer than you'd like. But obsessing over being unemployed doesn't really help you land a job.

Enjoy time off from work and do a few of the things you wished you could do when you were working. You might just look back and discover it was one of the best times of your life!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.