Unemployment Adventures

What Do You Mean Relax? Tips to Relax Even When You Can’t

While I’m not your typical Type A personality, I can be a very nervous person. I worry about pretty much everything – whether it’s in, or out, of my control.

I’ve been a slight wreck since I got laid off, worrying about what my next career move will be.

Should I start my own business? Am I going to have to move? Where would I want to live? Will I make enough money? How am I going to pay my mortgage? What about Toby’s chemo treatments? What companies do I want to work for? Is my website updated? Should I direct them to my blogs?

Twelve hours after I got laid off, I was on LinkedIn  applying to an opening at the New York Times.

Relaxing is not always my strong point, but it seems to be everyone’s advice about my current situation.

“Take it one step at a time.”

“Breath. It will all work out.”

“Figure out what exactly you want to do next.”

All great advice, but my mind just doesn’t think that way. I’ve only been laid off one other time. And, the next day I had a part-time job that was more money than unemployment.

While I know it’s not the norm, in my mind I should have a job already. I spend countless hours job searching, looking for tips and networking. All of that can get super frustrating, especially without a solid support system.

So here are my top five tips for trying to relax even when you can’t.

1. Yoga

It sound cliche, but yoga does work. However, if you’re like me, the whole time your mind will still be racing. And, the ability to pull out the mat will seem like the biggest effort in the world. Sometimes I don’t even make it through the whole video.

One tip ~ save money by watching yoga videos on YouTube. My favorite is Yoga with Adriene.

2. Go Walk, or Play With, a Dog

If you have a dog, take them for a walk. If you don’t, go to your local shelter and volunteer to walk one. They are instant mood boosters and have a way of making things better. Their instant love of life and silliness will help lift your spirits.

3. Get Outside

If you can’t do the activity above for some reason, at least get outside. At first the thought of going for a walk mentally exhausted me, despite doing it daily before I was laid off. So, start small. Sit outside while drinking your morning coffee, or take your laptop outside while you are searching for jobs on LinkedIn.

4. Let Yourself Be Upset

One of my good friends harps me about allowing myself to actually feel whatever I am feeling. Although at the time it doesn’t seem like it, but she is correct. Allowing yourself to be upset and deal with the emotions at the moment does really help.

5. Momentarily Tune Everyone Out

This is easier said than done, because if you are like me, you will want help, advice and comfort. But, sometimes all that does is make you more upset. It is perfectly okay to shut your phone off, not respond immediately to a text message and just take time for you.



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