Improving your mood when you’re unemployed

If you've not got a job, chances are you're trying to save cash. But that doesn't mean you can't also keep your spirits up.

In fact, it's important that you consider your mood when you don't have a job, as it's a time that a lot of people find they can feel a little low.

Not being employed can be very difficult – even if you have a support system in place that means you are not facing financial issues because of your situation.

While you look for that next job, here are some tips that could cheer you up.

Volunteering

If it's possible for you to get out there and do some voluntary work, jump at the chance. You'd be surprised what a mood boost it can be to be doing something productive and good, even for just a few hours. And it goes without saying that it's a CV booster, too. Working in a charity shop, for example, or a soup kitchen, would give you some great skills to use in hospitality jobs.

Demarcate down time

Downtime feels better when there's something to contrast it against, so be strict with a system – for example, look for jobs between 9am and 5pm, then kick back for the rest of the evening.

Embrace low-cost fun

There's a lot out there that you can do in your down time that doesn't cost too much. For example, when was the last time you took a trip to the public library? As well as books, DVDs and CDs to enjoy, you might even find some great job-hunt information, or you could read something like an autobiography by a famous chef, as inspiration if you're after chef work.

Take pride in your job hunt

People often say that your job hunt should be treated as if it is a job in itself while you're unemployed. Well, remember to let good work boost your mood during this stage, just as it would if you were employed. Even if a fine CV doesn't get you an interview, remember to pat yourself on the back for knowing it's a great, well written, piece of work.

Find a new hobby

Hobbies can really help boost an application and although sometimes they come at a cost, there are plenty out there that are very affordable. For example, have you tried seeing if a local drama group could use your help either on stage or off?

Become more of an expert in your field

Feel connected to your chosen industry, even when you don't have a job, by developing your knowledge in other ways. It could be something as simple as checking industry news every day, watching any TV programmes that come up on the subject, and learning about the big companies in your sector. If you're able to use these efforts later on, in the application process, that could be really impressive.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist hospitality recruitment agency.

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