Looking for a job is stressful. From the hopeful highs of great interviews and promising leads, to the disappointing lows of being passed over for opportunity, job hunting can seriously mess with your emotions. Add a quarantine and economic backslide to the midst, and the anxiety of looking for your next career opportunity can reach new heights. While you’re navigating the job market, it’s important to practice self-care. In honor of mental health awareness month, we’re sharing some helpful tips to manage your emotional well-being during a time of uncertainty.
Keep a routine
If you’re a recent grad looking for a job, it might be tempting to take a leisurely approach to your day, or procrastinate in your search. Creating a schedule for yourself can help keep you on track and prevent your mind from wandering off to think about all of those pesky “what-ifs.” It will help to get up at the same time every morning, dedicate some time for exercise, and set up specific hours of your day to work on resume editing, online searches, networking, and applications.
Check in with yourself
Be honest with yourself and how you’re faring during this time of uncertainty. Taking time to journal at the beginning or end of your day can help you release frustrations and notice thought patterns over time. Take breaks if you’re feeling tired or burnt out, and brainstorm some healthy ways to work with anxious energy you might feel. Some ideas: exercise, a creative outlet like painting or doodling, listening to music or a guided meditation.
Establish a support network
Keeping up with close social connections can give you a much needed mental health break from the job search. Stay in close contact with supportive friends and family with regular phone calls and video chats. Don’t be afraid to ask them for what you need — whether that’s words of encouragement, prayers, or a reminder of some of your past accomplishments.
Ask for help
Working with a therapist during the job search can give you much-needed emotional support as you navigate stress, fear, and other challenging emotions that can pop up when you least expect them. And if you’re feeling financially strained right now, there are still options available. You can search for sliding-scale therapists (Websites like GoodTherapy and Healthgrades provide information on therapists in your area), or try out a therapy app like TalkSpace or BetterHelp.
Just like physical clutter can prevent you from moving about freely throughout your home, mental clutter can hurt your ability to think creatively and be productive. Try working in an organized space that you’ve designated specifically for job hunting. Simplify your job search with Altogethr — you can search multiple job sites at once, compare positions, and save the jobs that are the best fit all in one place. With easy navigation and helpful filters, you’ll stay on top of everything on your to-do list.
Remember — who you are is more than what you do, so avoid the temptation to equate your worth with your job search success. This time of stress will likely be a small blip on the radar of a long and successful career. So take a breath, take good care of yourself, and take a small step towards your next chapter.