Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Avoid Anxiety and Depression in Your Job Search

Although the market is picking up, it is still very difficult for those that are unemployed to find a job. On top of that, the longer you are unemployed the more difficult it gets to find that job. When your savings start to slowly deplete and your endless output of resumes leads to nothing, it can be difficult to keep your head above water. You may think there is no end to the struggle, but staying positive is key and avoiding the feelings of anxiety and depression is a must.

Psychologists and experts say that losing a job can throw people into depression just as much as losing a spouse or going through a divorce. If you think about it, it makes sense. Getting laid-off or losing your job can be a huge blow to your ego. On top of that, if you are feverishly searching for a new job, to no avail, your ego can plummet even more. Your daily routine is thrown off and the longer you are unemployed the less desirable you become to other employers. Thankfully, the weak job market can be somewhat of a blessing as much as it is a hardship. That’s because you are not the only one that is going through this. Employers know that there are millions of Americans unemployed right now and they know the job market is rough. As a result, they are less likely to turn someone away just because they have been unemployed for a while.

Before you fall into a hole of depression, you need to grab hold of the reins and take control of the situation. Not that you haven’t done that already, but as time ticks on you may start to let depression drive the bus. In order to stay positive and avoid the negativity that may be building up deep down, take note of a couple of these things you can do to stay positive. Remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it may just take some time and extra hard work to get there.

Stay Connected
When you feel sad and upset about your job search struggles, it can be very easy to isolate yourself and become bitter. While this may feel like your only option, doing this can really start to bring you down. That is why staying connected with your past colleagues and keeping your networking up is so important. The more you stay in the job market and maintain relationships with those in the job market, the easier it is for you to keep up the right mentality. Make sure you are keeping up with your networking strategies and don’t isolate yourself.

Find a Routine
When you lose your job often times your daily routine and schedule goes out the window as well. It’s easier to get up later and to slack off when you have no one but yourself to motivate you. That is why it is so important to maintain your own schedule and your own daily routine. Don’t sleep late just because you don’t have an obligation to wake you up every morning. You do have an obligation and that is to find a new job. Create a daily routine for yourself and stick to it until you find a new position. That could mean waking up at the same time every day, sitting down for a certain amount of time and hitting the job boards. Sleeping in late may be fine once in a while, but when you make it a habit you start to feel guilty about it. You wake up at 10 or 11 a.m. and when you see the time, your heart drops and you think to yourself, “Ugh, I should have woken up earlier.” Don’t make a habit of this because it will only throw you into dissatisfaction and depression that much easier.

Stay Active
You’ve heard this so many times before, but staying active is really detrimental to your happiness. Especially if you don’t have an obligation every day, such as going to work. Exercising and maintaining a healthy cardio routine will keep your blood flowing and release endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Even though you may not have found a job yet, you can feel accomplished each and every day by going for a run, walking outside or doing whatever kind of exercise you like.

I recently read a story of a man that had a job with a high paying salary and lost it due to the recession. He had a ton of money saved since he made a lot of money. He was accustomed to expensive dinners and frivolous spending. He thought that finding a new job would be easy and opted to travel around for awhile after he lost his job to ease the blow. When the time came for him to really find a job and his savings started to deplete at a quick rate, he started to panic. He didn’t find a job with the same high salary and instead applied for a job at Starbucks. He had so much money, but didn’t budget it sufficiently. If you find yourself unemployed, it shouldn’t have to be said that you need to asses your finances and budget wisely. Doing this can really help your anxiety and can fight the feelings of depression. Plus, you will last longer on your savings than if you didn’t budget.

Understand How You Feel
It make sound corny, but writing down how you feel and understanding the emotions you have can really help. Plus, it always helps to have some kind of outlet for your emotions. Don’t suppress them and push them down. Express how you feel, be it to yourself in a journal or to a good friend.

SOURCE: Mood Letter
IMAGE: Courtesy of Carroll

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter