Depression can really slow down your job search progress. Many people who are out of work suffer from depression at some point during the process. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but if you recognize you are suffering from it, take steps to deal with it and get back on track finding a job.
If you think you’re suffering from depression during your job search, you’re not alone. Here are some things that might help:
- Focus on the positive – If you find yourself thinking negatively, recognize that you are doing this. Find ways to deal with these negative thoughts including positive affirmations, spending time with people who believe in you and keeping a list of things for which you are thankful.
- Stay away from sources of negativity – This includes the news on TV and news websites.
- Get out of the house on a daily basis - Interact with people (maybe even network) or get some fresh air, but make don’t stay isolated in your home.
- Exercise – This is a great outlet for frustration and depression. Not only does it help keep you fit, but speaking from personal experience, it’s a great way to feel like you’re accomplishing something during a time when you may not feel like you’re making progress.
- Volunteer or become a mentor –Give back while you have more time on your hands than normal. Not only that, but they can potentially be great resume pieces!
- Connect with others – Join a job support group. Or take a break from job searching and join a weekday group doing a sport, hobby or activity you enjoy. Having a built in meeting and person-to-person contact each week is helpful.
- Keep busy – Create a job search plan and stick to it. Set milestones and reward yourself when you reach them.
- Manage your time wisely - Set an alarm, shower and dress, go to “work” looking for a job. Track what you plan to accomplish each day and reward yourself regularly.
- Share your journey – Blog, keep a journal, talk regularly with a trusted friend or family member. Don’t bottle up your feelings about the challenge of being unemployed.
- Take good care of yourself. Fix healthy meals, make time for enjoyable activities, and get enough rest. Don’t let the stress of job searching impact your physical well being.
If feelings of depression begin to impact your ability to enjoy everyday activities and focus on necessary tasks, talk to your doctor. While mild depression during a job search is normal, in some cases, medical attention is necessary.
Tell us, what do you do to keep a positive mindset during your job search? Have you felt depressed, and if so, what worked to help you feel better? Share your experience and help others in the same situation.