Any tips for dealing with depression while unemployed?
April 11, 2012 7:39 AM Subscribe
What can I do to improve and make the most out of my involuntary unemployment? I lost my job nearly six months ago, and though I started out optimistic and productive, depression and feelings of uselessness are starting to get the best of me.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (11 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
First of all, I should say that I know situational depression caused by unemployment can be temporarily alleviated by getting a little bit of perspective - I know I am lucky for getting enough unemployment insurance to pay most of my rent and bills, and I am grateful for the things I have - my health, a loving husband, a roof over my head, enough to eat. I also know that I am very much not alone in this economy.
However, I would appreciate any advice from anyone that's been through unemployment on how to deal with the constant feelings of rejection and failure that come with the daily grind of job searching, carefully crafting applications, and then getting no response. I'm a 31-year-old woman who entered the professional world when companies were flush and there was a lot of opportunity. I went to a pretty good school and I have a sort-of useful degree, and while I have a solid track record of great jobs, my resume also reflects a decent amount of 20-something job-hopping and "figuring it out," which definitely doesn't help me now in a job search.
Now I'm on a career path that I enjoy (sales/business development in tech), and I was in a stable, director-title job for several years at my last company, but they closed due to the economy last fall. Now I feel like the competition is ridiculously high, and I'm up against younger applicants with better educations, technical degrees and MBAs (though I am a nerd who works in tech, I have a humanities degree that I have to justify, and often get passed over because of it.) I had a couple meetings early on where I got great feedback, but no offers. Now no one has called in months.
I try to keep myself busy in the meantime around the house - I've been learning a foreign language and am starting to learn how to code, something I've been wanting to do. However, emotionally it's gotten harder and harder - I find myself crying almost daily and not wanting to get out of bed in the morning. I've been through bouts of depression before, and I know the best way for me personally to cope is to stick to a routine, eat well, and exercise daily. I've been doing that for the most part and it does help. (I've been on meds and hate them - never again.) Some days I slip, stay in bed until noon, and then beat myself up for being a loser. I do feel, overall, that I'm wasting a huge chunk of free time that I may never have again being depressed.
So anyway, any tips for coping during times of unemployment and for making the most of all this time? I have a supportive spouse, but I don't have a lot of friends that are also unemployed that I can hang out with, and I don't really have any money to spend on pursuits (I've been selling stuff on eBay and doing some odd freelance jobs online to make ends meet.)
Any advice greatly appreciated.