Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Keeping sane during unemployment

I have been unemployed more than once in my life (how awful, what does that say about me? eeek let's not go there!).  I can tell you it is really easy to fall into a vicious cycle of sleeping in, eating lunch late, eating dinner late, sleeping late, not leaving the house for days on end, questioning who you are and what you are achieving by being on this planet, etc etc.

I was actually talking to my GP about it (who is amazing btw, if anyone needs a GP on the lower north shore in Sydney email me and I'll give you her deets) and told her I was still looking for work.  She remarked that I was surprisingly upbeat for someone who hadn't found a job in 3 weeks and I explained the things I had been doing to keep sane.

  1. To me the most important thing is routine and structure.  When you're working, you have structure to your day.  When you're not working, this is the first thing that falls away.  I get up at 9am every day, go grab a takeaway coffee and have a chat to the barista, come home and check emails and have a look at seek.  I'll make lunch, do some internet searching, then maybe watch tv for a few hours.  Grocery shopping, make dinner, eat dinner, some more tv watching with Tom, then bed.
  2. Leave the house!  I went stir crazy last time I was unemployed.  There were literally days on end where I just didn't leave the house.  I didn't change out of my pyjamas in the morning, lounged around all day in them and then went to sleep in them that night.  Disgusting.  Go for a walk, go check the mail, go get a coffee/lunch/groceries.
  3. Meet friends/family/ex-colleagues for lunch.  Yes this might mean going into the city but just being able to talk to another human being feels amazing after you've been talking to yourself/the computer for 2 days.
  4. Try not to emotionally rely on your other half 100%.  I was guilty of doing this last time and it not only pissed Tom off but it made our relationship one-sided and unhealthy.  Yes they should be emotionally supportive but don't abuse this support.  


  1. I've had a lot of close people in my life go though unemployment in the recent future.
    In all cases I have advised the person to ENJOY NOT WORKING, because before they know it they are back at work complaining about another Monday... Of course easier said than done when you are desperate to find a job, so I think, like you say, having structure and objectives each day is a great idea to help take the mind off the bigger picture. Do you have any hobbies you never had time for when you were working FT?

    1. Brilliant advice and I actually took it on board today! Went for a longer than usual walk this morning with my takeaway coffee, then hit the beach this arvo for some rays before the weather cools down.

      Yeah been wanting to do calligraphy from this set I had, did that last weekend. Been wanting to read more and haven't really done that yet. Been exploring my local area which I've wanted to do ever since we moved in so slowly ticking a few boxes off.

      Thanks for the advice xx

    2. Good to hear! I really want to get back to creating art again (lino printing to be exact)...I have bought all the supplies and now I just need to find the time to do it. Our weekends are packed and I'm too pooped and stressed after work to sit down and focus on something fun (god forbid!). Savour your "freedom" while you have it!!! xxx

  2. Great advice mycatsaysmeow.

    Kay, good on you for seeing the positives for the way forward.

    SSG xxx

    1. Being negative only works a bad situation worse :D

  3. Im actually unemployed also, and yes you are right routine and structure fall right out the window (guilty right here of planing to wake up at 8.30 the night before but waking up at 9.30am today :( lol)
    And mycatssaymeow you are right.. I've been told to enjoy the time off aswell, as I remember how over worked and tired I use to become. In my spare time I've culled my closet and ebayed a lot of things I didn't want (extra cash) and also indulged in hobbies I didn't have the time to do so when I was working full time.
    And yep i've experienced my other half been pissed off at me from time to time aswell.
    Having said that thanks for your advice and I hope we both find a job soon :)

  4. I was unemployed once for a span of 3 months (!!) and did the opposite of everything you listed above. I agree it is important to keep up a routine - sleeping in takes just one day to turn into a habit. And it's a downhill slope from there on in I know. I got to a point where I was applying for ANY job out of desperation and looking back now, realised doing what I did was a waste of everybody's time - including mine.

    Sending you motivational vibes to keep on searching on ;) I hope more ppl out there in the same situation sees your post - some great advice there, Kay.

  5. Me! I am in the same situation and saw your post. Thanks. I was trying very hard to keep sane and refrain from spending too much time in the Kitchen pretending I was the ultimate domestic goddess. I think getting out of Pyjamas and putting on makeup makes me feel human. I also caught up with quite a few TV shows last week but I should do more on my list like prepare scenarios for interviews, get my laundry done, set up NHS... all important things but oh episodes of Revenge and Carrie's Diaries beckons...

  6. I have a good friend in a similar position, although they have been unemployed for a lot longer. Now we are gym buddies I think that having something scheduled to do each day helps. Sounds like you're doing a good job staying sane! Hope you find your dream job soon x

  7. When my partner was unemployed he made going to the gym and finding activities he liked his job. He was always doing something!

    Good luck! Enjoy your time off too.


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