Deal With Stress

How to Deal With the Stress of Long Term Unemployment

Woam wondering how to deal with the stress of long term unemploymentWhile losing a job is a jolt, the initial shock doesn’t last long before you can start moving forward. But what if that was months ago? How do you deal with the stress of long term unemployment, which just seems to sap a little more out of you every day?

The longer you go without a job, the more apt you are to see you where you are today as where you will always be. The Proverb tells us that “as a man thinketh, so is he.” If we want to stop being jobless, we need to stop thinking about not having one. We need to change both our self image and our point of view.

Unemployment zaps our confidence. It can be exciting to look for a new job. Maybe that kick out the door at the last one was exactly what we needed. We update our resumes and really pour our hearts into every application.

Then we wait.

Then the stress starts. You begin to doubt your abilities. Your confidence starts to lag. But, hey tomorrow is another day, right? So you are up and at it, sure that the perfect opportunity is right around the corner.

And then you wait. And maybe watch a little daytime TV. With a bag of cookies. In your bathrobe.

How can we deal with the stress of long term unemployment, if we’re wallowing in it on the couch?

Snap out of it! If you have someone who loves you and pulls you off the sofa, bless them. If not, you have to be your own drill sergeant, and to resist being sucked down into the mire of bad behavior. You need to get up, take a shower (feels so good), and be your Mom and your own best friend, rolled into one.

Your Mom would say, “eat right and stand up straight.” How you feel inside is reflected in your confidence outside. Ice cream may feed your need for solace, but it will not find you a new career. Good nutrition now is crucial, as your body is under even more stress than you had at work.

Not only will junk food make you feel sluggish, it plays havoc with how you look. If your job applications go unanswered, you can feel no one wants you. Or will ever want you. The last thing you need is a reflection that reinforces how unwanted you feel.

A drill sergeant would say “push-ups, now!” It doesn’t have to be push-ups, but you need to exercise, get your blood flowing, and release some endorphins into your beleaguered brain. You will feel better, and in more control of your future. And you will exhibit more energy and strength in a job interview or even on the phone.

Your best friend would say “enough of this.” Even best friends get tired of negativity. You need to stop dwelling on your problems, and release them instead. One of the best ways to do this is with meditations designed to turn your attention away from the bad place where you are, and focus your attention on where you want to be.

Getting a new job takes work, perseverance and strategy. You chances of success go way up, if you don’t let the stress of unemployment get you down.

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2 replies on “How to Deal With the Stress of Long Term Unemployment”

Hi Janet,
That feeling of being in “limbo,” in-between, and waiting can really mess with your mind.
I like your suggestions for being active and getting your mind to a better place. Keep doing the good stuff you know to do and life will come to meet you.

I agree! Staying busy keeps you optimistic, and also helps pass the time while you wait for responses to e-mail, calls, etc. related to your job search.

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