ad collaborative post // The only thing more interesting than the housing market these days may be current career transitions. The great resignation shows no sign of slowing down as people seek better working conditions, improved flexibility, a livable wage and benefits.

However, looking for something new can take a toll on your psyche. The pressure increases if you need to find something fast to support yourself or your family. Here are five mental health tips while navigating a job search.

1. Get Mindful About Your Motivations

The great resignation may be better dubbed the “great disconnect.” Wages haven’t kept up with rising inflation for over four decades, and grim economic reality has squeezed people to the point of no return. Forget thriving — many folks can’t afford to survive on what they earn, let alone save for a home or retirement.

They rightfully decide to focus their energies elsewhere when there’s no longer a carrot dangling at the end of the employment stick.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get paid what you deserve — you are, after all, contributing your time and talent, not asking for a handout. You provide value and deserve to be compensated accordingly. Therefore, don’t feel guilty if money is the primary motivation for seeking something new.

However, you might have other motivations, and it pays dividends in mental health to mindfully examine them. For example, you might crave a telecommuting position to spend more time with your loved ones or cut childcare costs. However, you could feel tempted to settle for an onsite role if you’re running short on cash and need to find something quickly.

Think carefully before accepting a position you don’t genuinely want. While taking a less than desirable post can quickly restore your income stream, it can make future employers question your dedication if your resume shows nothing but short-term gigs.

2. Organize Your Schedule

Finding work is a full-time job in itself. To improve your chances, you should dedicate at least six to eight hours of each day to your search. That means organizing your schedule.

Things get easier if you aren’t currently employed and don’t have to schedule interviews on your lunch break. However, using an online or paper planner helps you keep track of your upcoming to-dos, easing the anxiety that can result when you realize you need to submit a sample portfolio by tomorrow.

3. Give Yourself Breaks

You want to maximize your productivity and taking breaks can help. Those who schedule regular rest times do more “on the clock” — or while at their desks submitting resumes.

Try using the Pomodoro technique when working on lengthy applications. Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break where you step away from the computer. After three or four such “Pomodoros,” give yourself a half-hour or hour for lunch or exercise.

4. Connect With Positive People

Job searching can discourage you. Some folks have applied to multiple places only to get few, if any, interview calls. Others go through various steps of the hiring process only to have their dream job ghost them with no further explanation.

You need a tribe that can support you and keeps your motivation high throughout your search. Now more than ever, avoid the Negative Nancies who say finding a better job is impossible and spend time with those who encourage you to reach for the sky.

5. Tend to Your Physical Needs

Neglecting your physical health can result in mental trouble. For example, magnesium deficiency can lead to major depressive disorder. Some folks even believe that shortages of micronutrients in the western diet could fuel divisive political discourse — the effect of food on mood is that profound.

Follow these tips to safeguard your mental health by taking better care of your body:

  • Eat a healthy diet: Include plenty of plant-based foods. Vary the colors of your fruits and veggies to get enough of the nutrients you need to keep all your systems running strong. Avoid white sugar and flour and overly processed foods with questionable additives. It also helps to give alcohol a pass or stick to no more than one drink a day. Drinking can increase your anxiety levels.
  • Exercise: Exercise produces endorphins, happy little body chemicals that improve your mood and decrease pain. It also creates a sense of agency and confidence, making you appear more capable in job interviews.
  • Sleep: Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. Try not to let your schedule get too out of whack if you’re currently out of work. Instead, maintain the routine you hope to follow once you find your dream job.

Job Search Mental Health Tips

Now is a wonderful time to find a new position. However, the stress of a job search can take a toll on your psyche. Follow the job search mental health tips above to stay centered while you seek. Improving your emotional well-being will help you rock your next interview and hold strong until you find the position that’s perfect for you.

How do you look after your mental health when you’re searching for a job?

2 Comments

  1. Excellent post Jenny and not one I thought I needed. It can be so draining when looking for a job. You don’t think it should ever be this hard but it is!

  2. Great post. This post has come at the right time for me as I am currently looking for a new job. I will definitely keep this in mind. Thank you for sharing.

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