I just got back from India. Did I mention? And it was great. But now I’m here again. Sunny England. Except it’s cold and grey. And Christmas is over. And I don’t have a job. And EVERYBODY else has a job. The only thing more depressing than going back to work after Christmas is not going back to work after Christmas.
It would be easy to start totally FREAKING OUT right now. But I’m not going to do that. Okay brain? No freaking out. How?! I hear you cry – are you staying so cool and calm and collected while your entire life crumbles around you like a burning city. Well firstly calm down. I’m just unemployed, it’s not the apocalypse. And secondly – I’ve been making a lot of lists. Like the one I’m about to share with you, you lucky thing.
List 6473803: How to stay sane and get through your unemployment relatively unscathed
1. Adopt an attitude of gratitude
Gratitude is, like, so hot right now. Everybody’s doing it, feeling it, selling it, baking it. And for good reason. Feeling genuine gratitude is bloody lovely. I write a list of all the things I’m grateful for once a day and spend a little time sort of embracing my thankfulness. I know it’s all a bit zen, but don’t fret – I won’t start exclusively eating kale/quinoa or train to be a hot yoga teacher. My gratitude lists are very silly and often include the words ‘pyjamas’ and ‘macaroons’. It’s the little things ya know?
2. Get up early… and do stuff
You don’t need to tell me how hard this is. I know. I live it everyday. It’s torture. It’s pain. But it’s necessary.
Don’t be fooled. Just because you don’t have a job does not mean you cannot have a productive day. Sitting in your flannel pyjamas watching re-runs of the Downton Abbey Christmas special is appealing of course, but will certainly not help with the whole unemployed situation and is not conducive to a satisfying day.
Getting up early makes me feel as though I’m being really bloody productive before I’ve even done anything. It’s marvellous. Now what to do next…?
I’m a strong believer in doing things that make you feel good. Which is why you’ll never ever ever catch me on a cross trainer or one of those hideous stepping machine things. Life is too bloody short and they are too bloody painful. I do, however, happen to love running. Very slowly. In fact I’m sure if you put your mind to it you could walk faster than I run (HRH confirmed this the other day which is why I now run alone).
But it makes me happy. I run for my mind as much as I do my body. A quick shout out to endorphins… You guys rock. No matter how chilly it is outside I ALWAYS come back from a run feeling as though I want to swing around a lamp post and sing in the shower. And that’s the way you should feel everyday if you possibly can.
Me after a run
… only joking – this is me after a run.
4. Act as though you are employed
Slob around in your pyjamas all day and you will begin to feel as though this is all you are capable of. Get dressed. You can do it. Sit at the table with a cup of tea and your laptop. Be professional when looking to become a professional. Act as though you are someone and you will become someone. (I cannot guarantee this will happen. I am still very much no one. Actually no, that’s not the point… I am SOME ONE… I’m just not entirely sure who yet.)
You don’t have a job. I’m sorry I’m not trying to be mean. But you don’t. You’ve got 99 problems and having to pay £10 a day because you’ve gone over your overdraft limit again needn’t be one.
6. Have POSITIVE ENERGY and self belief
It’s a simple message. And it comes from the heart. Believe in yourself. And that’s the place to start.
… Okay yes I did steal that from the Arthur theme tune. That show taught me so much about life.
But seriously – do. Because if you don’t nobody else will. You are capable of far more than you realise. Reading complicated job descriptions is completely disheartening… and often leaves you feeling utterly bewildered. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO ANY OF THIS STUFF.
I was explaining this predicament to the Mancunian the other day and she explained that nobody knows how to do that stuff; when she applied for her current job she had no bloody idea what they were going on about in the job description. Turns out a lot of the time it’s just very simple stuff enshrouded in complicated wording. They’re weeding out the faint hearted before the process has even begun. Sneaky.
7. Enjoy this time
Repeat after me – life is only bleak and depressing if you make it that way. And you’re not going to… Are you?!
If life goes according to plan you’ll be working for the next fifty years. FIFTY YEARS. So bloody hell ENJOY the fact that you have a little time off right now. You can use this time productively and still have a bloody great time. Write, read, run, have fun. Oh and maybe actually apply for a few jobs while you’re at it.