Managing the Stress of Unemployment

Let’s face it … being unemployed is one of the most stressful situations you’ll ever face. Here’s what you need to know: If you do nothing, and pretend you’re not stressed, your stress will grow. If this goes on long enough, it may result in physical illness, anger, depression, or a chronic chip on your shoulder that will communicate itself to interviewers.

So what can you do to relieve or combat your stress?

  • Make choices based on your values, not based on fear.
  • Be proactive, not reactive.
  • Demonstrate assertiveness rather than passivity or aggressiveness.
  • Learn to pace yourself.
  • Relabel events and situations to feel less threatened by them.
  • Do something you enjoy daily.
  • Learn to play.
  • Express your creativity.
  • Learn something new.
  • Minimize your negative self-talk. Substitute affirmations for your usual negative thoughts.
  • Accept yourself just as you are. Don’t expect perfection!
  • Cultivate positive connections, relationships, and friendships.
  • Eat balanced meals.
  • Minimize your intake of salt, sugar, fat, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Exercise regularly and safely.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep.
  • Take advantage of your unemployment to update all your health exams.