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Unemployed and Unmotivated? Here's How to Escape the Emotional Slump

Chris is a freelance writer in the self-help and personal development niche. His interests also vary from anime to zodiac signs.

Unemployment doesn't have to be boring.

Unemployment doesn't have to be boring.

Unemployment Can Decrease Motivation

I used to wake up at five in the morning, commute at the crack of dawn, and work long office hours with only quick meals in between meetings. Five years of corporate life taught me to dress to impress, walk with confidence, talk assertively, lead meetings with grace, and make decisions with haste. It was a hectic life. But on October 2019, I chose to end it all and quit my job.

Surprisingly, I missed my daily grind. I missed waking up to something and looking forward to a new start.

For several months, I was unemployed and unmotivated. If you have the same feelings, you know how hard it is to get over the emotional slump. But the good news? Your unemployment period can be a window for discoveries, goal-setting, appreciating the simple joys of life, and building deeper connections.

Ready to get out? Read on to learn about what you can do to get out of the emotional slump.

Unemployment Is an Opportunity to Discover Something New

The hubbub of office life can sometimes tear you away from hobbies and interests. I say sometimes because some people still find a way to accommodate hobbies and interests despite their work demands.

But if you're someone whose routine goes like this even on weekends: work-eat -sleep, then removing the "work" part opens up new possibilities. For me, "write" replaced the "work" part. Because of unemployment, I discovered content writing. It led me to writing portals, just like

If you have a similar passion or your interest lies in other things (but your work kept you out of it), now's the perfect time to rediscover.

Make a list of the things that you love doing.

A few examples:

  • Blogging
  • Design, arts, and craft
  • Graphic design
  • Lay-outing
  • Photography
  • Painting
  • Reading
  • Sketching
  • Website coding and design

Pick one or two from your list that makes you smile. And... start doing it on a daily basis.

Here's a tip. You can even earn from doing the above interests and hobbies. Discover freelancing sites like Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr. Open up a gig and start earning.

Among the three, an Upwork profile is the most difficult to set up. Thankfully, other people already did it before you so you can learn from their experience. Here's how to start landing interviews on Upwork.

Set Goals Every Day

When you go jobless, it is very tempting to spend the rest of your days without a definite timetable or a plan.

After all, there are no more deadlines to meet, no bosses to answer to and no emails to backread.

Your 24 hours are solely yours and you can choose to spend a large chunk of it sleeping, eating, or binge-watching. But believe me, when you do, you sink yourself deeper into an emotional slump. It wouldn't help you to feel like a loser for sitting on the couch all day. You're consuming but not producing output. I know, that's one of the worse feelings in the world.

Or... you can choose to tick off those "to do" activities that you never got around to doing when you were still employed.

Reconnecting with an old friend or school buddy daily is one such goal.

When you act on at least one goal a day, it pumps up your juices. You'll never feel like an irritable couch potato again.

Value the Simplicity of Life

In my daily grind, I rarely get the chance to pause and observe. Several months of unemployment provide ample time to do just that.

There is joy in walking without a rush while feeling the breath of air and the sun's rays on your face. There is joy in finding stillness amidst the noise while being aware of the different sounds.

True listening is a notch above hearing. It can lead to a deeper connection with the people around you and even with nature.

Cherish Moments With Loved Ones

Let's admit it, being obsessed with work can create gaps in your relationship with family and friends. But once work is no longer around, you are forced to fill those gaps by spending more time and energy with them.

More importantly, whether you are employed or not, those gaps should not have been created in the first place. So, make those moments matter. Be wholly present when you're with your family or your friends.

Doing the above things kept my motivation going despite being unemployed. But you don't have to force yourself to do all of the above at once.

It's okay if you allow yourself a few days to wallow in your situation first. But don't let the emotional slump of feeling unmotivated and unemployed drag out for too long. Or else, you'll find it harder to get out.

Good luck! And if you have other thoughts, feel free to comment below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Chris Martine