How to Keep Positive While Unemployed

I hate being unemployed. Well, who doesn’t I guess, but I really hate it. It’s in my nature to want to work. I’ve been working since I was 15 and most of the time I’ve been balancing more than one job at a time. I’m also very ambitious, which is good and bad. It’s good because when I am working I work hard, I get results, and I feel fulfilled.

When I’m not working I have to fight to keep positive and optimistic that things will eventually turn around for the better.

After a few phone calls back home this week, I definitely feel like I now have a good plan for myself to keep positive while job hunting in Toronto. If any of you are in the same boat as me, hopefully some of these tips will help you too!

1. Keep active

Now this means to me keeping both mentally and physically active. To maintain my sanity I need to have things to do. Luckily there have been a ton of things to do lately as my HB and I try to settle in our sublet.

For instance, we’ve been on multiple shopping trips for essentials that our place didn’t have (like a fan, bowls, and tea towels. It sure is fun living in a bachelor’s apartment for the summer).

I’ve also been trying to get back into the blogging game so to speak. I’ve felt a bit disconnected from the personal finance blogosphere for the past few months, so I’m trying to get back into commenting and reading other blogs and being more active on social media.

Physically I haven’t really been doing anything quite yet, but next week I’m going to make a point of going outside for at least a 20 minute run every day. When I exercise I’m always in a better mood, so I’m going to get back into that routine.

2. Be social

It’s hard living away from friends and family, and as much as I love my HB, I think we’re getting a bit sick of doing everything together.

Luckily I have a few contacts in the city so I’m starting to set up coffee dates with people so I can have a social life once again. I’ve also made a point in keeping in touch with my friends and family over Facebook, email, and Skype which definitely helps.

3. Listen to music

Maybe this isn’t for everyone, but for me it’s a big mood elevator. I was feeling pretty low Tuesday night until I started listening to Marina and the Diamonds and I immediately starting feeling better about my whole situation.

4. Treat yourself

I think one of the biggest things I hate about being unemployed is feeling guilty for buying anything. I’ve got nothing coming in so really I shouldn’t be spending any money besides the essentials.

But I’ve never been keen on “no spend days” and if I drip coffee from Starbucks will give me a smile for a bit, then I’m gonna frickin’ go to Starbucks and get myself a coffee!

5. Give yourself a day off from job hunting

My mom gave me this advice last night and she’s had a good point. If I just keep going on the job boards everyday I’m probably gonna crack soon. Instead, I’m going to allow myself one day a week to enjoy the day and do whatever I want without feeling guilty for not applying to jobs.

6. Learn something new

Being unemployed not only sucks because it drains your bank account, but also because it makes you feel unproductive. I live to be productive, and one of the ways I’m going to use up some of my free time is by learning something new. I’m not sure what quite yet but I expect a few trips to the library will be in order.

Check back here tomorrow for my weekly link love post! I know I haven’t done one in a very long time but I’m starting them up again.

What would you do to keep positive while unemployed?

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Showing 20 comments
  • Reply

    When I was last unemployed, I scheduled time to go to the library every day to work on resumes, cover letters, research, etc. And then took care of myself in the afternoons and evenings. It was a nice way to get out of the house and feel like I was making a bit of progress on the employment front every day, without feeling overwhelmed. Plus, getting out of the house was important. It was too easy to barely leave my apartment for days. =)

  • Leslie Beslie

    Two things kept me sane: 1) Having a schedule 2) Still accomplishing something.

    I’d wake up every day around 9a. Eat breakfast, then spend the morning looking for jobs, writing cover letters, researching things, applying, etc. Then it’s lunch time. And about an hour after lunch I’d go for a run. As soon as I got laid off, I began training for a half marathon. This really helped me have something to strive for – especially since I had a lot of free time and could spend 1+ hours running! It also meant at the end of each week I had made some new accomplishment. That really kept my spirits up even when the job hunt wasn’t always working out.

  • Francieidy

    You should check out some volunteer centers. I volunteered at an animal shelter for a while and it helped keep me busy so I didn’t go crazy. Plus, it made me feel great.

  • E.M.

    Listening to music always puts me in a better mood. I think taking a break once a week from job searching is a good idea, because it can get exhausting quickly. Just a year ago I was in the same situation. It’s tough, but I found letting things go and not dwelling on it helped. Don’t get stuck on one opportunity as it might cause you to miss others. It’s awful to get your hopes up on one thing, and put off applying to other jobs because you’re hung up on it. One of the best pieces of advice I read was to just keep moving on to the next thing. Focusing on other activities and bettering yourself are great ideas!

    • Mo' Money Mo' Houses

      That’s definitely something I need to work on. It’s hard when there’s a job that comes up and it’s the perfect job, but I know there’s no point dwelling on it because once I apply it’s out of my hands and I shouldn’t stop applying to other jobs because I’ve got my hopes up for that one job.

  • Michelle

    I definitely bet it’s hard to be unemployed when you’ve always been so busy. I know it’s not exactly the same thing, but when I make the freelancing switch, I know that I will have a lot more time available. I’m not sure what I will do. I see myself making more awesome meals all of the time, volunteering, becoming more healthy and so on.

    • Mo' Money Mo' Houses

      Ya it’s never fun but I’m sure in the end when I land a job I really like it will all be worth it.

  • Budget & the Beach

    I agree with Leslie in having a semi-structured schedule. But other than that I think what you mentioned are all good things!

    • Mo' Money Mo' Houses

      A schedule is key I totally agree. So far it’s what’s been keeping me somewhat sane this week!

  • OutlierModel

    I remember my last stint of unemployment – I tried to treat it like a job as much as possible, where my job was to get a job! I spent a lot of time in coffee shops working on applications and tried to average one application per day, sometimes more. It’s a bit more difficult when you’re moving to a new city, but it’s good that you have contacts there – use them if you can!

    Hope you’re settling in 🙂

    • Mo' Money Mo' Houses

      Thanks! And yes I’m definitely treating this time as if it were a job and it does help thinking that way.

  • Michael Martel

    Great suggestions on how to stay positive. You didn’t really mention why you should stay positive. It is so important that we manage our mood. Negativity will transmit (I know this sounds a little loopy, but it’s true). Only by managing our mood will he project the positive, upbeat person that companies are willing to hire. Do a telephone or in person interview with a negative mindset and you are practically guaranteed not to get the job.

    • Mo' Money Mo' Houses

      Well staying positive isn’t just important when going into an interview but also while being unemployed and job hunting. It’s not easy to keep your spirits up and to not get a bit depressed when unemployed and looking for another job.

  • Myjampackedlife

    I just wrote a post on this exact topic. I am also umemployed and while it was great at first, it’s starting to get really old and I’m starting to feel useless. I really like your tip of being active everyday. I have been very unmotivated but the days I do do something I feel so much better so I need to do something daily as well. Good luck with your job search. You’re a talented person and I’m sure you will find something soon enough.

  • Staffing Solutions

    Many people fall in a mistake of closing them self up ,staying inside, trying to find another job but no social life and that brings them to depression. Life does not end if you get unemployed, you just have to keep positive.

    Staffing Solutions

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