Five Ways to Focus on Self-Care During Your Job Search

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Five Ways to Focus on Self-Care During Your Job Search

Finding a new job is challenging enough, but add in the complications due to the pandemic with 10.2% unemployment, and the road to obtaining a new job becomes even harder.

With a job search on average taking five months or longer, having tools at the ready to help you deal with anxiety and stress is essential. Yes, you’ll need to brush up on your resume writing and interviewing skills, but it’s also necessary to strengthen your self-care skills.

If you search for a job day after day, week after week, and you’re not building time into your self-care schedule, here are five simple ways to help you.

Call a Professional and Reach Out for Help

If you have healthcare coverage, call a therapist, and schedule an appointment. Talking to a professional can help you learn how to deal with the emotional burdens you are carrying. Long gone is the stigma of calling a professional for help. With telemedicine so prevalent during the pandemic, help is only a phone call away. And if you do not have any insurance, the LiveWell Foundation offers free support or try calling a professional and asking if they’ll help you at a reduced rate. You might be surprised by how generous therapists are during this challenging time.

But if you are having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide hotline immediately. The service is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Create a Routine and Stick to It

With social distancing in effect and being out of work, finding a sense of normalcy can be even more challenging. Write out a simple schedule and list out a basic routine each day. To help, here is my weekly self-care schedule:

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday:

● Morning run

● Write blog post

● 15-20 minutes meditation

● Read daily affirmations

● Get to bed by 11:00 p.m.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday:

● Write blog post

● Take a walk, do simple exercises

● 15-20 minutes meditation

● Read daily affirmations

● Get to bed by 11:00 p.m.

The purpose of the routine is to make it simple enough so that you can easily remember it each day. Between searching for jobs and making network calls, the fewer decisions you need to make each day about self-care, the better.

Call a Friend

Reach out to a friend and talk with them on the phone, daily if needed. Social interaction is at an all-time low due to the coronavirus, but a simple phone call (or Zoom) can make all the difference. Be honest with your friend, talk about what’s on your mind, and be a generous listener. It’s a give and take.

Being a good friend is a two-way street. 

If talking on the phone isn’t your thing, schedule a socially distant walk. Meet up with your friend, go for a walk, and just talk. A nice long walk while talking with your friend is a great way to help your mental health and also get you physically active.

Talk into the Mirror

A few months ago, a friend recommended that I start reading affirmations to myself in front of a mirror. I cringed at the thought of standing there and reading positive thoughts each morning. When I first tried it, I felt embarrassed and a bit odd doing it.

After reading the affirmations for two weeks, I realized that daily practice made me feel better and helped build my self-confidence up for job searching and interviews. Not sure where to start?

Here’s one of my favorite:

“I know my value is inherent in and outside of my work.”

I recommend writing down (by hand) two affirmations for the following categories: relationships, careers, purpose, wellness, and mindset. To help, here are 31 powerful affirmations by Liz Huber on Medium

Write It Out

If you haven’t written a journal before, here’s a simple technique to get you started. You can use a pen or a computer. I prefer the laptop. Sit down, close your eyes, and start writing. If you’re dealing with a problem (i.e., finding a job during a pandemic), write about how you feel, get your worries on the page, and exorcise them. Give yourself a few minutes to write about whatever you want. There’s no judgment, no shame, just the words and you.

When you’re finished, rip up the page and throw it away or shut the computer off without saving, and move on. Let it go. Use the time to process and think through how you feel and then move on.

A few minutes spent writing each day will help you focus better, strengthen your writing ability, and also give you a healthy way of dealing with stress, worry, and anxiety.

One More Thing

And because I like to give more value than what I promise, here is a sixth recommendation: try some yoga. If you’ve never given yoga some serious consideration, be sure to check out Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. She has more than 8 million subscribers, and her videos are free. She’ll walk you through the basics, and if you’re a beginner (like me), fear not. She’s a great teacher, and I’m getting the benefits of both relaxing my body and mind through only 15-20 minutes of time.

Summing It All Up

Yes, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, unemployment is high, and finding a job is challenging with having to deal with ATS, Zoom interviews, and all the other complexities of the modern job search. Take time to go through these simple recommendations and build them into your weekly schedule. Creating positive and healthy habits is good for your long term mental health. Good luck with your job search, as well as incorporating self-care practices into your life. 

Author Bio

Ron Vitale is an accomplished director of digital project management and has successfully overseen the launch of more than a dozen websites who is currently seeking employment opportunities.

His colleagues have come to know him as a diplomatic problem-solver with a proven ability to envision people’s web needs and then launch viable new web-based systems on time and under budget.

Ron is also the author of more than 15 fiction and non-fiction books and uses his author career as a platform to learn new technology and online marketing techniques. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.