If you have ever been unemployed for prolonged periods of time then you know that feeling of hopelessness all too well. You try looking for a job every day, leave no opportunity unturned and yet you can’t find work. At this point you feel like absolute garbage and you begin to wonder if you’re worthy of anything. How would I know – you ask? I’ve been in your shoes.
Few years ago after being a self-employed affiliate marketer things turned for the worse. Things changed so quickly that literally overnight I was unable to make a living. I’ll spare you the details but all that matters is nothing I previously did worked any longer. This new period of struggling to survive and constantly searching for employment lasted for an entire year. I grew sad, depressed, fatigued, hopeless – you name it. Every time I’d apply for a job it seemed like one hundred other people were there before me. It was quite depressing. Even though it was most likely not the clinical type of depression, it certainly felt like it.
Over the course of the next few weeks following this period of sadness I learned many things. It gives me a great pleasure to be able to share with you the things that have helped me and may possibly get you out of your infinite state of sadness:
Seek Support from People You Love
Surround yourself with people you love and those that love you. Forget searching for work for a bit and spend time with family. Don’t do it for the sake of distraction, but rather allow your mind to fully heal with support of others. If this is something you have already been doing this whole time, then combine it with the next suggestion.
Take a Mini-Vacation
Taking a vacation during the worst of times may sound like terrible advice but consider the situation: you’ve been out of work for quite some time and are not getting closer to finding anything. By spending time with people you love in a place away from home you can begin to forget the pain and agony of searching without results. I’m not saying you should spend a lot of money to do something exotic – just take a road trip out of town. Go camping, go fishing, just get out of town. Spend a few days or more just relaxing (and no, those times when you have nothing to do at home because no new job postings were added don’t count). Think of any activity that you truly loved doing just before your life got very busy and go do it.
Volunteer Your Skills for a Good Cause
I know, doing charity work at a time when you should be asking for charity sounds completely insane, but it really isn’t. Is there somewhere you have to be after months of searching for employment? A few days won’t kill you. Take some time off and donate it along with your skills to a good cause. You may be surprised how happy it will make you feel to see someone else benefit from your talent. Who knows, someone may even notice your work which could lead to a connection here and there.
Start Networking with Others
Speaking of connections, go out and make new ones. From meetups to job fairs, every bit of networking will help you feel like a worthy human being. Join local meetups and make new friends. Don’t be afraid to talk about your situation. Job fairs aren’t just for meeting with potential employers, seek company with like-minded people. Talk about your efforts to find a job, make jokes, make friends. You’ll need every bit of friendship at this point.
Everything listed here is what has worked for me to overcome severe sadness and in my mind – depression. There are many other things you’ll have to do differently once you get out of feeling too miserable but that is another post for another time.
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