Relieving the Stress of Job Hunting – Guest Blog by Ruby Clarkson
Job hunting can be a stressful time for anyone, especially if you are under pressure to find a job. The uncertainty of the future and where or when you will be able to find work can already get the stress mounting up. Of course, there will be times in our lives when we all need to look for a job, and this will automatically be stressful, but there are some ways that we can help to lower those anxiety levels.
Let’s face it, we don’t want to make a situation that is already unpleasant for many people, worse, so here are some ways that you can help to relieve the unnecessary stress when you are job hunting:
Reduce your Screen Time
There is substantial evidence that links the amount of screen time that we have, with stress levels. It might be that you need to do your job hunting online, but you should still try to reduce your time looking at a screen as much as possible. Arctic Shores, experts in assessing human behaviour suggest that you can choose one of two methods – “20-20-20 method – This stipulates that, for every 20 minutes you spend at a screen, you should spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away. Hence the catchy name. This has been proven to relax eye muscles.”
And the “Pomodoro technique – This similarly encourages breaking work up into shorter chunks, giving your eyes some well-deserved R&R. Although it is mostly concerned with productivity, better eye health is a happy coincidence.”
Exercise is a great way to help to relieve stress. Whether you are doing yoga in your living room, a fitness class, playing football with your friends or going for a walk, what is important is that you are doing something. Exercise can be a good thing to get into your routine, meaning that you can get out of the house and see people – something that some people struggle with when they aren’t going out to work every day.
There are plenty of activities that can be done which don’t cost much – or indeed, anything if you are worried about money. A run or cycle, for instance, or cycling to the shop.
Getting some exercise not only helps to relieve stress, but it will also get your body in better shape, help with sleep and help with motivation.
Occupy your Time
Jobs aren’t called an ‘occupation’ for no reason. For many people, they are how you occupy your time – and your mind. Spending long hours without mental stimulation can be dangerous for your mental health, so it is important that even if you aren’t working, you do something that isn’t sleeping and watching TV.
For some people, you can use this time to expand your knowledge of your area of expertise, do a course or widen your horizon. For others, you could use it to learn a language, do a DIY project, craft your home cooking skills or get the garden ready for the summer.
In truth, it doesn’t really matter what you do to occupy your time, but it is important that you do something – and something that you believe to be worthwhile.
Earn some Money
If you are looking for work you will no doubt be conscious about the amount of money that you re earning. This can be one of the biggest stresses for people when they don’t have a job. Even if you find some work that isn’t in your chosen career, a part-time job can be an ideal way to earn a bit of money whilst still giving you the time to look for your chosen ‘career job’.
What you do depends on what skills you have, but you could consider freelance work, a job in a café or restaurant, or shop, for example. If you can find a part-time job, there are many benefits for you in addition to the money that you could be earning. The social aspect is very important, getting out of the house, meeting new people and feeling valued is also important.
Do Nice Things
It can be easy when you are looking for work to beat yourself up about not spending all of your time looking for work. Of course, it is important to dedicate some time every day to look, but you should also schedule into your diary some nice things to do – as you would if you were working.
These things don’t have to cost money – going for a long walk, visiting family or watching a film, for example, are great ideas.
We know that looking for work can be a stressful experience and often a difficult time in people’s lives. However, by taking a few steps to reduce the other stresses in your life, you will be able to lower your overall stress levels, stay healthier and be more productive.