Let's be real: The term “funemployment” is complete bullsh*t. If you've ever been laid off and unemployed for an extended period of time, with no end date in sight for the foreseeable future, you know that basically being forced to search for a new job with little to no money is anything but fun.
I can think of all of the emotions I felt when I was laid off with no warning from what I thought was my dream job last summer: anger, confusion, frustration and sadness, to name a few. Advice columnists and career coaches typically offer the same mundane advice to those who've just experienced a layoff: travel (with what money?), search for a new job (doing that), network (doing that too) or go back to school (to double my student loans?).
Not everyone has disposable income lying around. Nor does one have the ability to travel the globe after losing his or her job. Also, we all don't have family or friends willing to take us in until we get back on our feet, especially in today's society.
People also rarely discuss what happens after your unemployment benefits run out after the six month “I hope I find a job during this time, or else I'll really lose my f*cking mind” period, while you still have rent and bills to pay. Although some days may be more difficult than others, here are five ways to keep your sanity intact after you've been laid off:
1. Get your health back on track.
Working a 9-to-5, having a social life and sleeping – on top of eating healthily and having the time to get some cardio in – can be difficult on a Millennial. After I was laid off, I started a 30-day vegan challenge and committed to working out at least three to five times per week.
Exercising and finding a diet that fits your lifestyle not only improves your physical health, but it also improves your mental state as well. This is definitely necessary throughout your job search.
2. Find peace through spirituality or prayer.
In addition to my daily workouts, I went back to practicing yoga at least once a week. Yoga can help you find your center after a frustrating day of job searching.
I also downloaded different iPhone apps like Calm and Bible to help me learn how to meditate and get back in touch with my spirituality. Finding peace and positive energy during your job search can yield positive results.
3. Set up a daily schedule.
Staying in bed all day, every day is bad for your health. Setting up a schedule – like getting up at same time, planning what time you'll work out and run errands, and scheduling time to search and apply for jobs each day – can make your situation semi-normal. In turn, it can help you overcome the negative feelings that come with being unemployed.
4. Get out of the house.
You may not have the money to travel the globe, but exploring your city or town can be a fun experience on a nice day. Try out that restaurant you've been dying to go to for lunch, visit the park or lake down the street from your house or check out that new exhibit at the museum of your choice. It's very important to schedule time for yourself to get your mind off the fact that you're searching for a new job.
5. Have fun with people you love.
Remember those people you hardly had a chance to talk to or hang out with while you were stuck at work every day? Your family and friends would love to hear from you and spend time with you.
Sure, some of them may be working during the day, but meeting up with your loved ones for happy hour during the week, Sunday brunch or other weekend activities will certainly boost your happiness level as you search for a new job. Also, who knows what kind of networking opportunities you might find while you're out having a good time?
The major key throughout this period of career transition is to remain positive and remember that delay does not mean denial. Your "yes" is on its way.