Keeping Mentally Healthy during your Job Search
Sam Bailey is a mental health campaigner and experienced digital marketer working with small businesses and charities. Outside of his work in digital, Sam is a volunteer for a small charity in Essex and climbs mountains to raise money for mental health services. You can follow him on Twitter.
There have always been points in my life when I’ve found it more difficult to keep mentally healthy. One of the big ones has always been when it comes to job hunting. For some reason when the pressure is on it can be a lot harder to avoid some of the depressive feelings I’m usually good a keeping under control.
However, there are a few tips I have learnt that can help you keep mentally healthy during a job hunt and I’m going to share them with you now.
Organisation is one of the best things you can do to keep your head clear and focused. It doesn’t matter what system works for you the important thing is to have a system (rather than a mess of papers lying around, or worse a mess of things in your head you have to remember).
I organise myself with a mix of Excel spread sheets and physical files. I log the applications I have along with useful information about the organisation, contact person etc… so it’s all in one place. Then anything that isn’t in a digital form, like my notes, gets stored in a physical file.
Tip: There is no right or wrong way of organising yourself – but once you are organised it will take away some of the stress.
Exercise is your friend
Exercise is good for you. It’s long been linked to keeping yourself mentally healthy in general; so make sure you take advantage of all the feel good endorphins that you will get when you exercise.
As is the case with organisation, there is no right or wrong way about exercising – it really is about finding a way of doing things that works for you. I usually run or use a rowing machine that I have at home, but you can cycle, go boxing or play football. Even just going out for a walk will help you clear your head and keep fresh.
Tip: If extensive exercise seems too much in one go why not start by walking. Pick a route and slowly increase the distance as the days go by.
Don’t forget to treat yourself
There can be many reasons why we are hunting for a new job. If you want to keep yourself on track and motivated don’t forget to sprinkle in a few treats to keep yourself incentivised whilst you’re on the slog of posting CVs and applications.
Treats don’t have to be big or expensive things. It could be reading a chapter of a book that you love or a bit of chocolate after you send an application. Pick a few small rewards that will make sure you keep moving forward.
Tip: Make sure that you anchor the treats to specific actions and stages of completing applications. The danger is that the treat becomes common place and then won’t act as a motivator any more.
So there you have it. None of these things are particularly profound, but they are all small things that will help you to keep motivated and mentally healthy as you take on the job hunt.
Do you have any favourite tips to keep healthy in a job hunt?