The last year has been tough on all of us. The arrival of COVID-19 has had many worrying about their health and the wellbeing of their loved ones while navigating an uncertain future. If that wasn’t enough, social distancing measures required many companies to either transition to a remote workforce or close their doors, leaving millions unemployed and unsure of what lay ahead.
While COVID-19 made things much worse, there are always struggles for those dealing with unemployment, regardless of how it came to be. The feelings of uncertainty, rejection, and fear can negatively impact your mental health, but it is important to remember that there are resources and tips that can get you back on the right path.
It’s Okay to Need Help
There is nothing wrong with feeling depressed or upset when dealing with any major life change, especially sudden unemployment. It is only natural to have anxiety over how you will pay the bills along with the feelings of isolation that can occur when you have fewer social interactions than you did when you were at work. These feelings can often lead to unhealthy coping methods like drugs and alcohol, but it is important to resist going down a dangerous path.
Even if you believe this is a temporary feeling that you will get over in time, it is still a good idea to talk to someone who truly cares and will listen and understand. That could start with your family and more caring friends, but professional help is also a smart idea. If you don’t have the funds to go to an in-person psychiatrist, then consider seeing a doctor via a telehealth platform. Telehealth technology can be a less expensive route to speaking to a professional who will listen to your concerns and provide actionable advice.
If your negative feelings are going to a place where you feel like you can’t function or work like you used to, then you may want to look to other helpful resources. If you need more time to get back to a healthy mental state or you feel that you have deeper issues that prohibit you from working, then you may be able to get disability pay for a mental illness, which you can discuss with your doctor. Covered issues could include depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, neurocognitive disorders, and more. If you need medical help within your community, look for low-cost health clinics that may provide financial assistance or lower costs.
Finding a New Job
Part of the reason that you may feel a decline in your mental health is likely because you wake up every morning with nothing to look forward to and little motivation to propel you forward. Just because you don’t have a job now doesn’t mean you won’t ever have a job again, so find the purpose that you desire by creating a structured job search routine that you follow every day, just like you would have if you were actually going to work.
Instead of waking up later in the day and hoping to be productive later on, change your daily habits and create a detailed schedule that will keep you busy and motivated. That may mean waking up at 7 a.m., then going online to look at the job boards to see if any positions have opened that fit your experience. After that, you may go to helpful social media platforms like LinkedIn to send your resume to companies and ask trusted friends and past co-workers if they have any open positions at their company where they can be a reference.
The point is finding that purpose so you have a reason to wake up and get moving, which will not only make you feel better but will also increase your chances of finding a job. You’ll also want to freshen up your job application submission materials, so you are prepared for when the right job comes along. Spending time reviewing commonly asked interview questions and coming up with your own answers is helpful. When writing your resume and cover letter, you should address it to the specific company where you are applying and make sure your contact information is up to date so you can be easily reached.
While you are working towards your next employment opportunity, it is important to take care of yourself. Practicing self-care will enable you to have a positive outlook on life and get you in the right place mentally to start a new position when it comes around. Self-care is about taking care of your body and soul while being mindful of your habits and how they affect your wellbeing. Just like having structure is good for your mental health, so is organization. If you have a messy apartment, it can overwhelm your senses. Take the time to put everything in its spot and you’ll find yourself feeling better about things.
Getting enough restful sleep is another essential part of self-care and mental wellbeing. Those who do not get enough sleep are often more irritable and stressed the next day. Plus, not getting the rest you need can also lead to physical ailment. To get the best sleep, go to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends, and aim for seven to nine hours of shut-eye. Fall asleep faster by avoiding screens before bed and skipping daytime naps when possible.
The other major key to a healthy mind is a strong body, so treat yourself right by eating good food and exercising every week. You don’t have to run a marathon, but 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week will help you to feel energized and keep your mind off of your problems. For your diet, avoid fast food whenever possible and instead focus on nuts, fruits, and fatty fish to stay in shape.
Yes, being unemployed is not ideal, but the situation doesn’t have to last forever.
By focusing on the future, spending time on your job search, and taking care of yourself in the interim, you will find the career you want and deserve.
Are you unemployed? We can help you keep good emotional health, and provide you with strategies to find work. Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on how we can best help you or book online now.