Tips to cope with the stress and anxiety of unemployment

Unemployment and uncertainty go hand and hand. Stress, anxiety, and fear can also creep into your life if you let them. If you have never been unemployed, chances are you know someone who has. Handling the financial stress of unemployment is what initially comes to mind. However, we know that the ability to cope with the emotional stress of unemployment and remain positive can boost your job search and get you back to work faster.

Six tips to cope with the stress of unemployment so you can get back to work faster:

  1. Family and Friends

    Don’t be afraid to tell people you are looking for work. By sharing this fact, you tap into a valuable resource, your network. You never know who is hiring and your network of friends and family are the people who most desire to see you thrive. So speak to them and let them know if you need their assistance making additional connections.

  2. Schedule

    Keep a regular schedule. Go to sleep and wake up like you did when you were employed. Plan out your day and be certain to schedule your “to do list”. Try scheduling your day the night before; this might help you be more purposeful and not add things to your schedule out of compulsion.

  3. Exercise

    We know cardiovascular exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve mood. In addition to cardio, strength training not only builds muscles but also improves self-confidence; confidence that is needed when preparing for interviews and learning how to sell yourself. Set a goal to exercise for one hour each day to get the blood flowing and improve your long-term outlook.

  4. Volunteer

    Giving time to others has many benefits. It is an excellent way to keep your mind active, build skills, remain productive, keep a routine and be mindful of your own blessings despite the fact that you are currently out of work. An added bonus; it gives you a valid response when an interviewer asks you, “So what have you been doing since you left your last job?” Many employers place volunteer experience on equal footing with paid experience.

  5. Be Social

    Coffee with a friend or a phone call; it doesn’t matter, make sure you interact with others every day. This is extremely important. When you are unemployed, it can be easy to isolate yourself. Remember that you have not been sentenced to solitary confinement because you lost your job.

  6. Judgment

    Do not assume you are being judged because you are unemployed. Many people can relate to your situation. During the five-year period ending in 2014, more than 20% of Americans had been laid off at some point. People understand more than you might give them credit, and who knows, they too may have walked a mile in your shoes.

For assistance dealing with unemployment, please contact your AthLife Advisor. This Lifelete Fundamental was powered by Feeling Ashamed of Being Unemployed and How to Manage Stress and Stay Positive While Unemployed.