Job searching is a stressful past time even under the best circumstances, and the global pandemic has made it even more difficult to take care of yourself while you’re hunting for a new job. If finding a new career is on the horizon, here are some tips to help you take care of yourself while you’re on the hunt. 

Check Your Self-Talk

We all have an internal monologue that narrates our lives. Most of the time, it’s just a background noise but when things go wrong, it can start to echo those negative thoughts, and eventually that echo can start to overwhelm you. That negative self-talk can make everything harder, especially job searching. 

Start by checking your self-talk. Make sure you’re not making things worse by repeating those often false and always negative thoughts that your brain is throwing at you.

Start by taking a step back and identifying where your negative self-talk is coming from. Identifying the source and checking in with those feelings makes it easier to recognize them and let them go, rather than clinging to them.

Build Your Schedule

Being unemployed can often leave us feeling adrift, especially if we’re used to that regular 9-to-5 schedule. Without that anchor that you’re so used to, you might find yourself sleeping the day away, or struggling to even get out of bed. Even if you don’t have a job to get to while you’re still hunting, setting a schedule can do wonders for your mental state. 

Start small by setting an alarm and get up at the same time every day. If you’re using online tools for job hunting, which many are, set a specific schedule — including breaks — and stick to that schedule while you’re searching.

Self-care doesn’t always have to look like manicures or face masks. Sometimes something as simple as setting a schedule can make a huge difference.

Learn a New Useful Skill

It’s easy to spend your time between jobs feeling like you’re not accomplishing anything. You’re not alone — on average, it can take upwards of 22 weeks to land a new job! Instead of wallowing in that negativity, consider spending that time learning a new useful skill that will aid you in your job search. 

Consider the sort of job that you’re looking for. What kind of skills can you use to improve your search and make it easier to land your dream job? For a programmer, that might mean learning a new programming language or mastering skills in one you already know. For an office worker, that could mean finally mastering all those Excel shortcuts that you keep Googling. 

Whatever the case, now is the perfect opportunity to practice self care by making the most of your time.

Practice and Meditate

Maybe you need to brush up on your interview skills for when you finally get that call. If you’re stressed, it’s difficult to concentrate on your goals, and being kind to yourself may be the last thing on your mind.

When this is the case, practice breathing techniques to keep yourself relaxed, or try going through some power poses or meditating when you have free time.

Before your meeting, reflect on your strengths and what you bring to the table to increase your confidence. Studies show that while 57% of men feel confident enough to negotiate for the salary and benefits they want during an interview, only 7% of women feel like they can do the same. Making lists is a great way to see what you’ve accomplished and why you deserve the job.

Finally, to curb your anxiety, picture yourself doing a great job in your interview. Manifesting your success is a powerful way to boost confidence and self-esteem before and during an interview because you’ll envision yourself already in the role. Doing this can help calm your mind, and you’ll be more at ease while talking to potential employers.

Get Enough Sleep

Believe it or not, sleep is an important part of self-care. Without enough sleep, you’ll start to find that everything becomes more challenging. Studies show that just a couple of nights of poor sleep can impact your energy levels, mood, motivation and optimism, just to name a few potential impacts. Individuals with chronic sleep problems are also at higher risk for stress, anxiety and depression symptoms. 

Treat your sleep like the rest of your routine. Go to sleep at the same time every night. Treat yourself to a glass of warm milk or a cup of hot chamomile tea. Shut off the TV and put away your phone before bed so the blue light won’t affect your body’s melatonin production.

Be Patient

The job market is constantly fluctuating. One year you might be able to find a job in a week, but another might take you months to secure the same position. Be patient. This isn’t something that you can rush or something that will happen overnight.

Instead of stressing about it, know that everything will happen in it’s time, and take the time you have now to care for yourself as well. You can’t give your new job as much as you’d want if you’ve drained yourself with stress and poor sleep. Take care of yourself first, and everything else will begin to fall into place.