Trudging through the heavy reality of unemployment sometimes feels like walking through a thick mud pit and suddenly falling into quicksand of anxiety.
The anxiety of losing a job, looking for a job, and not finding a job can seem unbearable. But there are many tools available that can help unemployment anxiety. With time and the right tools, anyone can grasp their reality, ease their anxiety, and get that job!
Think of these tools as your personal anti-quicksand-devices:
One of the best tools to help manage unemployment anxiety head-on and quickly, is breathing. Breathing is recorded as the #1 tip from Psychology Today and Medical News Today for battling anxiety. Breathing helps you establish control over your bodily reactions to stressful situations (increase heart rate, rapid breathing, nervousness, and tension) by bringing awareness to what you can control. Breathing.
The technique follows:
Begin by slowly breathing in through the nose until your lungs are completely filled, holding for 3 seconds
Slowly let go of your breath, through your mouth, making a conscious effort to keep your breathing smooth and steady
Maintain awareness of the sensation of each breath, let each breath fill your lungs and your mind
Your brain will wander onto other thoughts, resist, concentrate on breathing and forget everything else
By implementing breathing techniques, you are forcing yourself to stay grounded. You are not wasting time with worry about life, the future, and/or the past. You take control.
2. Lifestyle changes
Unemployment anxiety hides in a lot of different places in your life, and although making lifestyle changes may take more time and effort. This tool tackles those bad thoughts living in your mind and helps you get back in control.
Self-care is number one for lifestyle change, you must learn to love yourself, and prove to your body that you love yourself with: exercise, sleep, eating lots of fruits and veggies, drinking lots of water, going outside, taking a trip, getting a massage, a mani-pedi, or a haircut.
Cleaning is another self-care lifestyle change that helps reduce anxiety. Your living space directly relates to how your brain is operating. If you live in a mess, chances are so is your anxiety.
Practice positivity. Negative thoughts cause negative feelings. If you wake up in the morning feeling unmotivated, sluggish, nervous, or you just don’t want to get out of bed. It is likely you will feel that way the rest of the day. Make yourself challenge these realities. You made yourself feel the way you feel, you can un-create these feelings and find a more positive perspective.
3. Talk about it (even when you don’t want to)
Nobody likes or deserves to feel bad. Sometimes the best way to deal with your unemployment anxiety is to embrace it and talk about it with someone you trust. Through talking, you create a tangible moment that allows you to fully understand what you are feeling and why you are feeling that way. Doing this allows you and whoever you are talking with the ability to analyze what your anxiety is, and how to develop solutions. Sometimes it is enough just to talk and be heard.
It is completely normal to experience anxiety, even more so when it is unemployment anxiety. It is normal¬ and OK to feel these emotions. But don’t let them control you or your life. Breathing, lifestyle changes, and talking are some of the best tools for managing unemployment anxiety in the moment and long-term.
However, people that experience re-occurring anxiety daily, might require further treatment. If your anxiety has become disruptive to normal life, it might be time to see a professional.