This morning I watched the sun come up as I sipped my coffee. Peaceful. I love sunrises. Since starting my business, I find early mornings to be some of my most productive time. I oftentimes use it to write in my journal and meditate. Sometimes I love using this time to begin my day with some stretches. I feel focused, centered, and ready for just about anything. It also gives me time for myself. As a Career Coach, I value my time quite a bit because I need to be “on” for my client sessions to give them my best so they can go on and achieve their best.
When I started my company, I had a wise friend and mentor who talked to me about prioritizing time for myself. Self-care might sound so cliché when it comes to entrepreneurship, business, or even your career but I have learned that it is impossible to give anyone your best if you are putting yourself last.
The same applies to a job search.
Self-care is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. Self-care means that you are actively engaging in the things that take care of your body, mind, and soul with activities that reduce stress and promote wellness and wellbeing. Through our actions, it enhances our ability to live fully, effectively, and vibrantly.
Job-Searching During the Pandemic
It is stressful to search for a new role during this pandemic while employed. It is quite easy to become overwhelmed in our current times and to get lost in taking care of yourself because the demands are constant, front-in-center, and at home with us most of the time. This could make any amount of overwhelm worse.
Not to mention that It is also much more overwhelming to be jobless during a pandemic. Research has previously shown that unemployment is associated with increased levels of anxiety and depression. It is important when you feel overwhelmed to focus on what you can control and act.
It is particularly important to be sure that you are staying healthy now more than ever. Stress and anxiety weaken the immune response, so you want to be sure to be focusing on self-care to avoid burnout as well.
The Link Between Unemployment & Mental Health
Unemployment has been linked to a greater risk for depression, anxiety, suicide, violence, and substance abuse. Studies have shown that those who have lost their jobs are twice as likely to report depression and anxiety symptoms when compared to those who maintain stable employment. Why can it take a serious toll on your mental well-being? Let us look at some possible reasons:
- Difficulty paying for necessities
- Lack of purpose
- Decreased social interaction
- Fewer resources to maintain mental health
- Unhealthy coping skills can be more tempting
When this occurs, there are two things that you can do. The first is to tackle the problem head- on by actively searching for work. The second is to deal with how you feel about it. This is where self-care becomes helpful!
Self-care is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself.
Love Thyself…A Commitment to Self-Love
Self-care is simply a commitment for you to act and take care of yourself when it is needed. It could be taking a walk, taking a nap, calling a friend, or loved one, and even working on your mindset. Other the last 4 years of my own venture, I have learned some goals of self-care:
- Do not be afraid to be more productive by not spending all day on your job search- efficiency is the most important because it will provide you with the same outcome.
- Self-care will help you live longer. What is the point of creating a prosperous and successful career if you cannot enjoy it?
- You will feel more fulfilled- and this is an incredible feeling!
- You will have more time to do other things besides job search, which is also rewarding!
So, what can you do? Remember, you are in control!
- Eat healthy
- Stay hydrated
- Practice mindfulness
- Reduce your stress
- Be assertive
- Learn to relax
- Know when to say “no”- and stick to it!
- Accept- and fix- mistakes (we all make them!)
- Hire a coach to enhance an area of your life (business, mindfulness, dating, health, etc.)
- Delegate and outsource
- Prep for each day
- Take vacations
- Develop your support network
- Plan your day to work smarter, not harder
- Do not take business calls outside of work hours
- Get plenty of sleep
- Use tools and apps to alleviate stress
- Unplug & unwind regularly (i.e. once a week!)
- Do not compromise when it comes to your self-care & health
Once you begin to incorporate a routine into your life, you will begin to see and feel a difference. Pick a few of these off the list and see which ones are the most impactful for you!
Burnout has 5 phases and each one is important to maintaining a healthy life.
Those 5 phases are:
- Honeymoon Phase
- Onset of Stress
- Chronic Stress
- Habitual Burnout
The theory behind the honeymoon phase is to implement positive coping strategies, such as those listed above. The theory is that if we create good coping strategies at this stage, we can continue in the honeymoon phase indefinitely.
However, if we have created a routine of self-care with the most impactful practices then we have an opportunity to feel and live better and continually care for our wellbeing.