8 Activities to Cope with Stress During A Job Search.
Contributing Writer: Ilissa Banhazl, Marriage and Family Therapy, 2011
Getting older can be humbling for some of us, especially if you are trying to find a new career in today’s job market. The economy has led to workers of all ages being let go.
Realizing you are older in a youthful job market may ignite other losses. People sometimes find that they are getting older and physically may not be able to do the things they used to do. We can feel isolated without a job to go to everyday. Some of us may experience loss of loved ones or adult children moving away.
Do you feel like the same person inside? Would it be helpful to work with a psychotherapist as you navigate this new stage in life? Losing your role in life can be disorienting and people can get depressed or anxious.
Although we see ourselves aging through our bodies (the outer shell), staying young is really about attitude if you are lucky and have your health. It’s time to reinvent yourself so that you can compete.
Find a new hairstyle, pick out a fresh suit and head out for your interview. If you are feeling like your value is down, because that’s what the job market reflects, there are certain coping skills you can use to elevate your mood. Make a list of your strengths and accomplishments. Structure your day so you don’t have too much down time. Use this free time to develop other parts of yourself that you may not have had time for before. Maybe you’ve wanted to learn how to golf or scrapbook. Take a part-time job to stay active, take a computer class, or volunteer with kids in the schools.
Stress takes a terrible toll on your health. Try to take one day at a time, noticing your feelings and learn to sit with them. Feelings are not good or bad, they’re just feelings. Its how we act on the feelings that is either appropriate or inappropriate.
8 Activities I suggest to my patients to help ease their stress during this ambiguous time are:
1. Journal your thoughts and feelings. Give them away to the paper.
2. Share your feelings with a safe person; someone who shows empathy and will not judge you.
3. Learn how to meditate and quiet your thoughts. This leaves room for new ideas.
4. Practice deep breathing throughout the day. That’s in through the nose, hold it for three seconds and blow it out your mouth. Your chest should not be rising but your stomach should.
5. Swim, walk, go to the gym, dance sing, paint, draw, golf
6. Read books on how nail an interview.
7. Join a group for leisure or for therapy.
8. Use this time become tech savvy, like younger applicants.
Remember every job interview is a learning experience. What can I do better or different next time?
Life isn’t over because you’re older than 40. It actually begins for many people because they now know what works for them. They also care less what people think. There are many active and satisfied people in this age group.
Keep hope and keep living. Happy, involved people tend to generate positive energy around them. Pound the pavement; search the internet until you find a job. Tell yourself over and over, I am valuable. I would be an asset to any organization. Now get out there and sell yourself! Good luck!
Ilissa is a marriage and family therapist in private practice in Glendora, CA. She facilitates a variety of therapy groups. She is the radio host of Talk Therapy w/Ilissa. Ilissa speaks on several topics. She authors 3 blogs. She specializes in relationship counseling and eating disorders. She also treats anxiety, depression, grief and loss as well as counsels on parenting and pre-marital issues. www.ilissabanhazlmft.com, www.eatingdisordersgroup.com