Being out of work can trigger a host of negative emotions, but there are ways to overcome unemployment depression. As you sit at home each day and wait for an employer to call and schedule an interview, you may feel yourself falling deeper and deeper into a sad state. This is understandable. But rather than let negative feelings get the best of you, here are seven ways to overcome unemployment depression.
1. Get Active
Exercise and physical activity are probably the last things you want to do when you're depressed. However, regular exercise can help you overcome unemployment depression. Being active releases endorphins, which are essentially feel-good hormones. The more you move around, the better you will feel. Aim for 30 minutes of activity at least three or four days a week.
2. Make Good Use of Your Time
Since you have free time on your hands, when you're not searching for a job, think of ways to use your time wisely. For example, this could be an excellent opportunity to declutter your house or take care of other personal matters. Additionally, unemployment can provide the opportunity to cultivate a hobby or hone your professional skills.
3. Maintain a Routine
If you don't have to be anywhere in the mornings, there is a tendency to lie in bed all day. However, staying in bed can further add to your depression. It's important that you keep a regular day routine. This includes getting up early each morning, getting dressed and beginning your job search.
4. Revamp Your Budget
Unemployment depression can be triggered by the inability to cover all your living expenses. Your unemployment checks may not be enough, and you might dip into savings to cover all the expenses. In this case, it helps to modify your spending and revamp your budget. Look for areas to cut back. For example, could you get rid of cable or a landline telephone? Could you buy generic food and reduce your grocery bill? Reducing expenses might lower your stress level.
It's important that you devote a lot of your energy to the job search. But when you're not looking for a job, consider volunteering with a local organization, the library or maybe the hospital. This not only takes your mind off your employment problems, but volunteer work might lead to permanent work.
6. Earn Cash on the Side
Since you’re home every day, use this as an opportunity to earn some extra cash. I've known people who started babysitting services while unemployed, and others who earned additional cash starting an office cleaning service or grass cutting business. You never know - grow your business and you might be able to replace your full-time income.
7. Get Professional Help
Sometimes, unemployment depression is more than just the blues. If you're getting plenty of rest, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet, yet you can't pull yourself together, maybe it's time to seek professional help. Talk with your doctor. Based on your symptoms, he or she might prescribe an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety medication, or recommend natural alternatives.
Being without a job can be a scary time, but you'll eventually find what you're looking for. The key is staying positive and maintaining a healthy mental state.
How did you fight depression while looking for a job?