Advice from mental health experts on how to cope through a prolonged job search.
Being let go from a job is difficult under any circumstances, but in today’s economy, it can be even more stressful. Mental-health experts and people who have been through the job hunt themselves offer the following advice for maintaining your emotional and physical health during what can be a prolonged job search.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Maintain a regular schedule, especially when it comes to sleep.
- Stay away from anything that can dull your edge, such as alcohol.
- Don’t try and go it alone. Connect regularly with other people, both in your professional and personal circles. If all of your connections were through your job, consider seeking out religious or community organizations.
- Make yourself useful. Reaching out to others during this time is one way to help you feel valuable — and valued.
- Limit your exposure to television and the Internet. Sitting passively while consuming bad news is detrimental in many ways.
- Seek out free services in your community. Many people who have been working don’t realize that there is a safety net out there, experts say — everything from the library to mental-health services.
- There are many things you can’t control right now, so focus on the things you can: how many resumes you send out, how many phone calls you make and so on.
- Don’t put your eggs in one basket. If you pin all of your hopes on one “perfect” job, you have to start all over again if you don’t get it.
- In fact, think outside the box. Your next job may not be the same — in function or in pay — as the one from which you were laid off.
- Count your blessings. There are worse things than losing a job. Try to be grateful for what you do have.