We moved to Georgia this June and I’ve been unemployed since the move. It’s so easy for me to lose motivation when I don’t have a schedule or a purpose; I find myself throwing pity parties for myself and feeling mildly depressed because I love being busy. There was a time when I had three jobs, I was in a sorority, I co-directed an a cappella group, I had healthy, flourishing friendships, a fiance, and I was planning a wedding. That was when I was in my headspace, mentally. I’m the type of person who thrives in chaos.
These last few months in Georgia have been a time for patience and reflection. Mostly because it’s just me rattling around my apartment all day, then making Target runs that are unnecessary for my bank account but extremely necessary for my sanity. To break up the monotonous hours of applying for jobs, tweaking my resume, writing yet another cover letter, and cleaning the already clean bathroom again, I came up with a game plan:
How to Survive Unemployment:
Start a new habit - For me, this was working out. I was pretty consistent during the winter, but spring threw everything off. I set a goal to work out three times a week and I’ve been ok. After a couple months of working out, I’ve noticed that I don’t sleep as well if I don’t go to the gym, so maybe I’m actually starting to like it.
Don’t sleep in - This has been the hardest thing for me. If I sleep in, my entire day gets away from me. Start your day off with something you look forward to. Maybe it’s a cup of coffee, an early morning workout, or some time spent in your Bible. I’m not saying you should get up at dawn, but resist the temptation to stay in bed all day.
Pick up a hobby - I picked up two hobbies! I started this blog with my friends and a joined another a cappella group. If I were crafty, I would’ve started a side hustle. Anything fun to get your mind off of job applications for a few hours.
Read a book - If you’re not a reader, you probably haven’t found the right book yet. If you are a reader and have fallen out of the habit, get back into it. There’s nothing like losing yourself in a good book for a few minutes (hours). My husband gave me my Kindle a few years ago and it’s my favorite, but I do prefer a physical book. If you’re not a reader, check out #bookstagram, you’ll get great suggestions and how to make your insta look well-rounded.
Break a bad habit - There’s never a better time to break a bad habit than now. I’ve been trying to fix my bad eating habits like skipping breakfast in the morning and not eating enough vegetables. I’ve found it easier to break my bad habits now that I have some extra time and no excuses.
Go somewhere - Get out of the house. Go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Get coffee with a friend. Make a (new) friend. Do something you’ve always wanted to do (I auditioned for American Idol because I had nothing better to do that day). Go on a mini adventure, even if it’s only for a couple of hours. There’s nothing stopping you.
I believe in making the most of any situation you’re thrust into. It is so easy to feel sorry for yourself when something takes longer than you thought it would or when you get another email rejecting you without an interview. I’ve found that bettering myself and taking time for self-care have kept me sane, especially since I’m in a new city. Does this seem basic? Absolutely. But there’s no better time than this to regroup and take some time for self-care.
How have you survived the job search?