Since the financial collapse that engulfed much of the planet a few years ago, there have been numerous studies looking at how the economy, stagnant wages and unemployment cause tremendous physical and mental strain on individuals. Indeed, hard times are when you’re out of work and it’s hard to keep your head above water.
According to a study by the Suicide Research and Prevention Center (SRPC), unemployment can actually double a person’s chances of experiencing a significant depressive episode and joblessness is often one of the causes of suicide.
Health experts say that workers who have been unemployed for six months or more usually show signs of depression, which then leads to a variety of other negative health factors, such as binge eating unhealthy food items and maintaining high stress levels that can then lead to fatigue and lethargy.
“Being unemployed is actually one of the most difficult, most devastating experiences that people go through," said Robert L. Leahy, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, in an interview with CNN in 2012.
With that being said, how does a jobless individual deal with it? Here are seven tips to cope with unemployment depression and to become a confident, happy, energetic, dedicated and hopeful person again.
For 15 years, you woke up at 7:30 a.m., arrived at work at 9 a.m., took your lunch at noon and then finished your day at 5 p.m. Just because you’re unemployed it doesn’t mean this scheduled routine needs to change. Sure, you’re not working, but a jobless day should consist of polishing your resume, applying to jobs and researching jobs that are in high demand during the 9 to 5 time.
If you neglected to exercise during your full-time employment days when you worked 50 hours a week and ate at your desk then take this time to start exercising again. If you’ve already updated your resume, applied for job opportunities and did other necessary chores then take a couple of hours out of your day and start to perform rigorous activities. This can be anything like going for a run, lifting weights, doing yoga or playing a sport.
Rather than sitting at home and waiting for a phone call, think about participating in temporary or part-time volunteering gigs. This could be a variety of things: helping out at animal shelters, assisting at food banks or completing administrative tasks for charitable organisations. However, be sure that these gigs do not interfere with your job searching duties and possible working hours.
Organise your home
It’s in human nature to feel productive and useful. One way you can feel the aforementioned is to start organising you home. If you avoided eating a nutritious meal, getting rid of the clutter in the basement or forgot about washing your socks from high school then take this free time to do all of these things.
If you have a family then you can prepare your children’s meals, clean the home for your spouse and establish any kind of routine that would add value to your family and household.
There are millions of people who are unemployed so why not connect with them? By understanding others and maintaining a little bit of empathy, you won’t feel so hopeless. Also, if you meet other jobless people then you can network and learn from each other. Remember, always having a friend can get you through the worst of times.
Have you always wanted to learn the harmonica? Have you always desired to read all of Anton Chekhov’s plays? Have you always yearned to launch a blog? Well, now you can, and should. Take the time to learn a new hobby or skill or accomplish something that you always wanted to before but never had the time or energy to do so.
The most important measure to incorporate into your lifestyle as you’re unemployed is to remain positive. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it’s something to consider. There is no need to start reading Nietzsche, Kierkegaard or Schopenhauer and dwell in self-pity. Wake up, say how grateful you are to be alive and overcome another hurdle that life throws at you.
Being out of work is definitely one of the hardest times in a person’s life – even more difficult than high school – but if you can triumph over this devastating realisation then you can conquer any other obstacle put in front of you. Work hard, be positive and remain persistent.
Were you depressed when you were unemployed? Let us know how you coped in the comment section.
Photo via Pixabay.