So, you finally found a new job…congratulations. But it’s been 21 months of job searching for you, countless jobs, a few interviews, and little luck, meanwhile spending your severance, savings, and possibly the last of your energies. Even if it’s only been a two-month job search before you land the next thing, your sleep has suffered, your immunity is down, and your mental resolve has been shaken. Altogether, these things have a debilitating effect on our health and wellbeing. Job searching and job change have wreaked havoc on your health. It’s stressful to be between things as you watch your savings – and your hope – dwindle.
Even after you land that new job, after a moment of relief and happiness, you have new stresses coming all while you might be at your lowest in energy and financial wherewithal. You will be moving forward now into something new, but you still have work to do to repair and regain your health and equilibrium.
During unemployment, it’s common for stress to wear us down. Long, chronic stress will sap you no matter who you are, how much resilience you have or how strong you feel. Energies spent need to be regained again. You might find yourself getting sick more often; you might have insomnia you didn’t have before; you might have acquired a new bad eating habit that made you gain weight; you might be smoking or drinking more than usual to cope with anxiety, sleeplessness and stress. Hopefully, not worse than this, though it is common for people in job transition to become extremely depressed, sad, hopeless, and feel worthless.
There is no easy answer to protecting your general health against the unknown events life hands to us. It’s easy to feel happy and safe when we are securely employed, and to become another kind of person when we don’t have the security of that job. This can be especially true of men who identify themselves with what they do for a living more strongly than most women do. So, what can you do to help stay stable, healthy, and looking forward?
Just like in our day jobs, it takes work to take care of ourselves. This might not seem to be so when we are just getting the work done, meeting deadlines, working late to prove ourselves, but it is. And it’s especially true when life has shaken us up and forced us to try new paths. Keeping your stress down and maintaining a happy, forward-looking mind are important things to our ability to adjust to what life throws us.
There is no silver bullet solution to extreme change. But there are some basic and relatively inexpensive ways for you to get your balance back after a layoff or a job transition. Here are six that can help tired bodies and minds replenish deep energies again, if you give it time to work:
Do an Executive Workout. Sometimes known as a steam bath, a sauna, or even a whirlpool, deep relaxation is important. When you can hardly get up the energy to go for a walk, never mind a workout, an Executive Workout will help you relax deeply, stimulate your immune system, and help you sleep at night. Infrared saunas are supposed to be especially good for burning calories, sparking your immunity, and relaxing tired bodies and minds.
Shop Fresh. It’s easy to use a food delivery service and balloon your weight with bad fast food. But after your next Executive Workout, go for a “big shop” and fill your fridge with food that will power your immunity and mental health. Fruits and fresh vegetables are key to feeling better. Fish is excellent for brain health. Protein is a must. If you’ve been skipping breakfast or making coffee and having a donut for your breakfast, try switching that for a protein powder smoothie in the morning. Nothing needs to be added but the protein isolate and you can add anything to it that you like. There are common flavours like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry that are very tasty and very quick to make that will help power you through the day and help repair some of that damage stress has done to you over time.
Sleep. This is a hard one for a lot of people. A lot of people have trouble falling and staying asleep. You might have tried everything from sleeping pills to melatonin, but have you ever tried acupuncture for sleep? Or meditation before bed? Or simply some good white noise? A recent article says that white noise is a more effective sleep aid than sleeping pills or herbs. You might try white noise alongside an essential oils’ diffuser, using oils like lavender, bergamot, or sage to help your mind relax and tune out the ambient city noise many of us silently suffer under.
Reduce Your Screen Time. Reports say children are looking at computer screens no less than seven hours a day, likely more, and this is true for the modern working adult, too. No doubt in your jobs before and in your recent job searches, you’ve spent a lot of time at the computer, sifting through possibilities, re-writing resumes and cover letters, and fretting into a blue light. Stop these three hours before you go to bed. You’ll find your mind is much less cluttered with information and images and much more relaxed and ready for nightly repair. Instead, choose to read a good book that takes your mind away and tires your eyes.
Walk or Bike To Work. Instead of pulling into your same parking spot every day, when you do get that new job, walk or bike to work as much as you can. I have seen people drive six blocks to work only to park, work, drive home again and collapse. Walking can save you time and heartache on the road, while stimulating your mind and body in the morning and in the last hours of the afternoon. I know a lot of people live far from work, so driving is a must. So, for those folks, drive to work, but instead of sitting around at lunch, go for a lunchtime walk for 30 minutes. After a week of this you’ll start to feel different. After three to four weeks it will be a habit you really enjoy and won’t do without.
You Are Not What You Do for A Living. Find A Hobby. Many people, especially men, take their worth and identity from their work. When men lose their position for whatever reason, esteem and ego take an enormous hit. This is only because so many men take their value as people from their status and their job. This is a silent epidemic. If you have nothing in your life except your work, then your life will suffer. So, try separating your value as a person from what you do for a living. The best way? Find a hobby. I don’t mean miniature ship building (though it might be) but something you enjoy that has little or nothing to do with your day to day work. Hobbies, the experts say, are essential for our happiness, for releasing endorphins, and reducing stress responses. Health happens in baby steps. So, if you used to love reading books but haven’t in a while because you read so many online reports at work, try dipping into a new or favourite book again. Read two hours before bed. Even if it’s a few pages. What you used to love will come back when you give it time. Any kind of hobby will do so long as it’s something you enjoy doing. Even cooking some of that new fresh food you just bought.
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