Learning How To Stay Motivated Whilst Unemployed

It’s been a week into my unemployment phase (yes, it is just a phase) and it was fabulous at first.

I could switch on my favourite TV shows, catch up on ones that I have missed and even have time to start on new ones that I have been meaning to watch but didn’t have the time. My biological clock was still set to my work hours meaning I still woke up at 8am everyday which was in a way great. It allowed me to still feel like I’m still somewhat a part of the whole working culture but separate, kind of like when you’ve called in sick from work; you still have to wake up early to call in sick but are then free to nurse the illness however you like till you feel better.

So I woke up early, stuck to a schedule of ensuring I handed in my job applications on time, wrote down all my interview dates, kept in close contact with recruiters and scheduled in my social activities. It was all going great until it was near the end of the week.

I stopped caring about when I slept, what time I woke up, what I ate, when I ate. On days that I had no plans I could be at home for days on end, people say pajamas day but it could naturally be pajamas days for me. The cold weather doesn’t help, it just makes me want to stay inside where it’s cosy and warm. I have officially become what I have always dreaded becoming, a full fledged slob.

See, I was so used to having a routine that I just had no idea what to do when I didn’t have a routine set for me. All through school I was set with a schedule, all the way up till university and then through out my working life. Of course, I’ve had holidays where I didn’t have to work/study but those had a time limit and I knew I’d be back to the same routine at some point. I’ve been (and I suppose most of us are) so conditioned to having a routine that it’s actually slightly scary not having one; especially one without a deadline. Not only that, it’s also knowing that at this stage, it’s only you that is going through this right now. Sure, many people have been through unemployment phases in their life. My first one was right after graduating but it was much more comforting knowing that there are plenty out there in the same situation as you, even some of your friends might be. Now in my mid-twenties, everyone’s on a different path and it’s difficult to speak to them about this as most of them aren’t able to relate/are busy making it through their day-to-day hurdles.

It’s scary, and often lonely.

However, I’m not alone. I am blessed with friends who are supporting me through this in their own ways. Being able to open up about some of these troubles to them has been hugely effective in relieving some of the fear and self-doubt that creeps in from time to time.

One thing I have learnt is the importance of creating a schedule for myself and sticking to it. It’s something that I now have newfound control over and one thing that has helped give me a sense of routine. It keeps me in check and ensure I don’t go too overboard with the temptation to do nothing. Having something to look forward to is necessary in life, especially more so for someone in a routine limbo.

I won’t give up. I have two more interviews lined up next week which I will do my best with. They say ‘admitting is the first step to recovery’ and by being able to see and admit I’ve been acting less than productive, means I’m ready to get out of the funk I’m in and start working hard again.

-The Girl in Black Frames 

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