As I mentioned before, a few months ago finally went from being unemployed, laying around my parents’ house all day, waiting for e-mails to confirm my start dates, etc. to being employed in two different places! Wooohooo! I no longer suffer the sadness that comes with being unemployed as the rest of my life passes me by. I was there for 5 months and I pray I don’t have to go back anytime soon. In today’s post I’m suggesting some things that helped me get through the trying times of being unemployed and battling with post-grad blues with at least a little bit of my sanity left. These tips can also help anyone who may just find themselves feeling down. Whether you are unemployed or not, these tips will certainly change your life.
Wake-Up and Say Those Affirmations!
The post-grad blues period after graduating can definitely get you down (they don’t call it post-grad blues for nothin’). One way I battled this overwhelming sense of emptiness and lack of purpose was through repeating affirmations to myself every morning when I woke up. While each person has to determine what they want out of life to come up with their own, I think the ones I used during this rough time are definitely a good place to start. Here are a few of the many affirmations I told myself during my time being unemployed. Some of these I still use now! I found these at this article here.
- My body is healthy, my mind is brilliant, my soul is tranquil.
- I am at peace with all that has happened, is happening, and will happen.
- I deserve to be employed and paid well for my time, efforts, and ideas. Each day, I am closer to finding the perfect job for me.
Start with these and even tweak them to your style if you want. All that matters is you remind yourself that you are deserving and destined for greatness!
Journal About Your Feelings Towards Being Graduated/Unemployed (and your feelings in general)
Unless you are still in the honeymoon phase of unemployment or you genuinely hate the idea of working, being unemployed will put a damper on your mood. In America capitalism and consumerism games prevail and if you aren’t making your own money or an heir to a fortune, you can’t participate. For people like myself, it is easy to start feeling down when you are trying to find employment. One thing I have made more of a consistent habit is journaling. I try* process all my feelings by journaling at least 3 times a week. During my time of being unemployed I have written about how being unemployed has made me feel (leave out nothing even the feelings of worthlessness and sadness). I’ve vented my frustrations and promised myself that I will never take being employed for granted again. While it is usual to complain about one’s job (unless it’s your dream job, which mine is being an attorney so I’m a long ways off), to be ungrateful for one’s job is not good for the soul. In cases where your boss is a jerk it’s different but at the same time, I have always hated being unemployed more than having a job I hate (blame my materialistic desires and FOMO). I hope to look back on my unemployment entries of journal should I ever start hating my jobs (hopefully I won’t).
Find a New Hobby or Invest Time in an Old One
Whether you’ve always loved painting but college got in the way, or you want to learn how to dance salsa, or anything in between you have plenty of time to do it in your down time on the post-grad job search. One thing I started doing again while I was unemployed is reading. One of my goals this year is to read two books a month and it hasn’t been hard thus far considering I didn’t have really anything better to do. Another hobby I dedicated more time to while I was unemployed was blogging. It felt good to be doing things I wanted to do in undergrad that I simply didn’t have the time to do.
Get Off Your Ass and Get Active
Seriously! This one is a good morale booster. Whether I was dancing, working out, going for a walk, jog, or run, dedicating time to working out wasn’t something I did until towards the end of my unemployment and I wish I had a started sooner. Not only do you have time to figure out what kind of workouts you love, you can find a purpose in setting non-work related goals. One of my goals when I was employed was to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. This doesn’t sound like a lot but there would be days when I was unemployed where I sat around ALL day and barely clocked in 2,000 steps, YIKES! If you’re currently unemployed it doesn’t mean you have to sit around all day and become a sloth (I was guilty of this for a while).
The post-grad “Damn I don’t have a job” depression is real and it can take over your mind, body, and spirit if you let it. I have been there in the deepest of post-grad blues and it is not pretty. Even if you are employed there are times where you can find yourself missing being in undergrad and carefree. The key to surviving this turbulent transition in life is to happen to it instead of allowing it to happen to you. If you already have a job it can be even easier to get caught up in the motions and find yourself still battling those post-grad blues. Find balance between keeping yourself busy and doing things you love. When you’re unemployed, finding things to occupy your time during your job search (and make sure you are ACTIVELY searching) will make the time in between graduation and being unemployed fly by. You may even walk away from it being more enlightened, educated, and experienced person than the day you got your degree. If you don’t have a job or haven’t taken steps towards career yet, don’t beat yourself up about it. These things take time and there is always a lesson in the struggle! ALWAYS.
(Author’s Note: If you think you suffer from depression or any other mental illness, contact a professional for help. These tips will not cure depression.)