Living Without Work

Suddenly finding yourself without work can be an uncomfortable lifestyle change. Your routine has gone out of the window and you have long days to fill. This stage can be the hardest part of losing your job, you have got over the initial shock and you are looking for a new job but the prospect of days filled with daytime TV depresses you.

To keep your stress levels down, boost your confidence and manage your relationships and health better, here are some strategies recommended by people who have experienced job loss:

  • Stick to a daily schedule including regular times for getting up, eating and job search activities.
  • Set at least one daily goal that you know you can accomplish. It can be as simple as going for a walk or going to the Job Centre. Go for a swim, go to the library, call a friend.
  • Use stress management techniques such as yoga, relaxation or even gardening to take your focus away from worrying about work and money.
  • Volunteer. There are hundreds of organisations crying out for volunteers, you get to fill your days and they get help - a winning situation all round. Sometimes this can even lead to new job opportunities.
  • Get out of the house. Isolation can be very depressing and it won't find you a new job. Walk to the shops, strike up conversation with people. Find activities that cost nothing but give you an outlet.
  • Get in touch with the local job centre – see what programmes they have on offer for unemployed people. You could get access to new skills and training through this avenue. Explore new career opportunities or the possibility of continuing your education.
  • Keep talking. Don't be ashamed. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work and make sure they know what kind of work you are looking for. Make sure your friends and family know how you are feeling and use them to help you find work.
  • Use the time you have to pursue the hobby you always wanted. This could be the perfect opportunity to take up a hobby which makes you feel alive, builds your self confidence and can lead to new work opportunities.
  • Keep a notebook by your bed. If you can't sleep put ideas or fears in it. In the morning you can assess them again with fresh perspective.
  • Reorganise paperwork, do DIY or household tasks that you have been putting off.
  • Get regular exercise to keep your energy levels up and keep an eye on your alcohol and food intake. Make sure you are in tip top condition for any opportunity that comes your way.

The last thing you can do just before you go to sleep is set a target for the next day. This gives you a tangible reason to get out of bed the next morning with a positive idea of where you are heading. If you want to get advice from people in the same situation go to the forum.