How to look after your mental health when you're unemployed

1 minute read | 14 June 2022

At Boardrm, we are your Career Partner for Life, so we are here for you in all stages of your professional life. Unemployment can strike anybody. It is bound to happen with life and career changes.

However, unemployment can take a toll. People who are unemployed are susceptible to anxiety and depression. It is normal to feel anxious regarding the future or to grieve the loss of a job, but it is very important to look after your mental health by addressing your current situation and the emotional toll that can come with it.

Therefore, we have created a list of tips that can help you deal with anxiety regarding unemployment or the future:

Keep a routine.

When you are employed, there’s a sense of routine, motivation, and productivity. But when you no longer have a schedule and a set work routine, it can get tricky to maintain a healthy life balance. Not eating regular meals, staying in bed, not getting enough sleep, or shying away for regular responsibilities will only increase the sense of distress and anxiety. Therefore, it’s important to set a routine and a schedule even when you’re not working. Getting up at the same time every day, eating healthy and making time to truly take care of yourself will make you feel more productive, in control and better overall.

You should also have a routine regarding applying to jobs. Don’t forget that if you’re physically and emotionally strong, the search for new work will be more effective. So having set boundaries, goals and a schedule will help you. For example, dedicating 3 hours every afternoon to sending applications or setting a goal of applying to 5 jobs a day. These goals should be small and realistic, so you don’t feel the pressure.

Don't isolate yourself.

It's common for people who just became unemployed to feel a sense of shame about their current situation. This can result in people isolating themselves from their support bubble. Although it can be hard to discuss your feelings especially when related to anxiety or distress, it’s important to do so. Opening up to your supportive group of friends or family, will be good for your spirits and give you an extra dose of motivation and confidence.

Remember your self-worth and value.

This can also be a good opportunity to look within. Work can be a big part of our lives but it certainly doesn’t define us. Take this time to think about yourself, what you want and what you are good at. Whilst always being kind to yourself.

What's in your control and what's not.

It is easy to feel as though your future is in other people’s hands when you are searching for a new work, which can feel overwhelming. However, it is important to remind yourself that there are things you simply can’t control. Make a list with what is out of your control and what you can control, and focus on that. You cannot control whether an employer will reply to your applications, but you can control if you’re learning a new skill or taking time for self-care.

Extra tip: keep busy.

If you are feeling isolated or stuck, consider the possibility of giving some time (a couple of hours each week) to volunteering. Not only is it a positive addition to your resume and could lead to professional relationships, but it will also make you feel better, more active and productive.

We hope you found these tips helpful. If you feel like you are not well, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Check this link for NHS services that can help you with your mental health.

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