Unemployment can be a challenging time for many reasons. Financial instability, stress, the strain on relationships etc. So throw in a global pandemic and you’ve got yourself a truly stressful situation that can have a huge impact on your mental health. Whether you’ve lost your business that you spent many waking hours carving out and pouring your passion into, or you’ve recently been made redundant, below life coach, Dave Knight, shares a few tips he gives his own clients on protecting your mental health and wellbeing during this unsettling time.
Accept the way you are feeling and avoid blaming yourself
If you are feeling sad, down-in-the-dumps, questioning who you are, or fearful about the future, this is absolutely normal. This can be one of the biggest challenges we face; being fearful of the way we are feeling or just wanting to feel a different way. However, with that added pressure to ‘feel happier again’ can innocently compound our feeling state and it’s almost like we punish ourselves as we want to fix it.
With acceptance of how we are feeling, we’re reducing the pressure and blame on ourselves and without realising, being much kinder too. It’s important to remember that whatever you are feeling, it doesn’t need to be fixed straight away. It will change.
Take time and regroup – you’re No.1
A period of unemployment can be a great time to take stock and review what you want and what you don’t want. Not only that, sometimes the things that we thought mattered to us do not matter at all.
What is important to you right now?
Some examples could be –
- You might have less money, however, the increased time with your nearest and dearest means more than we realised.
- You might not be able to buy the car you wanted, or take the holiday that you desired, however, you have other things in your life other than material things to be grateful for.
- You might need to stop your gym membership for now, however, consider alternative ways to continue a hobby or exercise regime.
Maintain or build in a routine to maintain your Wellbeing
This leads on from Tip #2 – a routine has been and continues to be a big part of maintaining my own wellbeing – I’ve also witnessed how effective a routine has been for my clients when they have done the same.
When our emotional state is not what we want it to be, it is a sign that we are thinking a lot – we tend to procrastinate; might make irrational decisions or even struggle to make them and are preoccupied. It’s such a challenge.
With a routine, it is something you don’t have to think about. It reduces your thinking in the present as it is ‘just what you do’. At the same time, it will reduce the time you are spending thinking about unwanted feelings. Using REPS as an acronym will be useful to help create a routine:
- What is Realistic for you to do?
- Excitement/Enjoyment – a crucial factor. With this, there is a higher likelihood you will do it and then keep it up.
- Protected time – can you fit other things around it?
- Social element – this is important for some, but not to others.
With your routine, what is the first step that you feel like you can make towards it?
Ask one question – ‘What’s Next?’
What is next for you? This is all we need to know to keep moving forward. It sounds rather simplistic in one way, however, it doesn’t matter what your goal is – whether that be getting back into employment; improving your relationship or losing weight, all you need to know is your next step.
There may be a series of steps to help you get back into employment (if that’s what you were looking to do); trying to get to that could feel overwhelming.
Knowing your next step alone helps you to –
- Stay focused on now
- Remain open to change
- Keep moving forward in the direction that you want to move in
With your routine in hand as a pillar to your more stable Wellbeing, what is your next step?
Realise you’re not alone and share
When your emotional state is not what you want it to be, it can feel like your completely alone. That no one else but you is feeling sad, worried or scared. However, you are not alone.
Unemployment, as one example, is a position that many people are in. Likewise, many people experience mental health challenges – in fact, every person will experience a challenge at some point. Again, this means that whatever feelings you are experiencing is normal.
Consider sharing your experiences with someone that you trust – whether that be a partner; extended family; friends or a professional. There is someone to share with and you’re not alone.
To find out more about Dave Knight’s Life Coaching and Wellbeing packages for individuals and businesses, please visit www.sundaysettler.com/bulletproof/.