Beat Your Depression - Before It Beats You
A while ago, one of our clients just disappeared. We called and emailed. No response. We weren't sure if he was alive or dead. After several weeks, he called and sheepishly said he'd been too depressed to even get out of bed. Please don't let this happen to you.
Depression is a major hazard to you and those you love when you're out of work. We all feel down from time to time, but depression can immobilize you, and interfere with your ability to work, read, eat, sleep, and have fun. Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting. It can feel like there's no way out.
It's not surprising that people get depressed. There is a lot of negativity in a job search. Employers reject you. Money issues can weigh us down heavily and cause tension with spouses and kids. Often, people feel uneasy, uncertain they are doing the right things to get hired. Many haven't done a job search in a long time, and the rules of the game have changed. Plus, it's embarrassing when people ask, "What do you do?" You used to be proud to talk about it, but now, you find yourself mumbling, "Uh...I'm unemployed."
There are steps you can take to prevent depression and to climb out of it, if you succumb. When unemployed, do all you can to ward it off.
First, let's address the root of the depression - your unemployment. Make sure that you're doing the right things to get hired. Many people spend most of their time on the least effective activities, like job boards. Make sure you have a great personal presentation: resume, clothes, LinkedIn and other marketing materials and that you can speak about yourself powerfully.
Job hunting is like boxing: neither is any fun if you're not good at them. You just get beaten up. If you are not being effective, waste no time. Call a professional coach today. If you can't afford that, a number of places provide help for free or for a nominal charge. You can't afford to be ineffective.
Watch what you put in your body
Eat nutritious foods; get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid substances that cause depression: caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and aspartame (aka NutraSweet). According to Dr. Janet Star Hull, there are at least 92 serious side effects caused by consumption of aspartame. See: www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-side-effects.html).
Watch what you put in your mind
Resist the temptation to vegetate in front of the TV. Keep up to date on the news, but stay away from the standard fare of most TV news. You really don't need to know about every fire, rape, and murder in your city. Read magazines and newspapers; avoid hate radio jocks. Read or listen to inspirational books and recordings.
Find a place to contribute. Keep your skills sharp, be around other people, and get that satisfaction of a job well done that you don't experience when you're out of work.
Surround yourself with positive people
Spend time with friends, join a support group, and network with others. Be sure that you don't get dragged down by negative people. There's no shortage of people who will continually complain about everything from the job market to the weather; you can't afford to be around them.
Get out of the house
Every day, get out of the house. Enjoy nature and spend time with other human beings. You can't stay sane sitting around all by yourself.
Sitting around being sedentary isn't good for your body or your mind. At least once a day, get out to the health club, ride your bike, take a walk, go swimming - whatever you enjoy. Exercise not only makes you look and feel better, but it stimulates the production of endorphins, powerful chemicals in your body that resemble opiates in their abilities to produce a feeling of well-being. The talk of the "runners' high" is real!
Consult a doctor and/or counselor
Talking with a counselor can do wonders to lift your spirits. Further, some people greatly benefit from anti-depressants. They're not for everyone, but they have helped a lot of people to kick a debilitating depression.
Keep your spirits up and keep in action.
If you want to talk about your situation, give us a call. We can spend a few minutes on the phone and see if it makes sense to talk further. 847-673-0339.
Steve Frederick & Jack Chapman