This week is Mental Health Awareness week and the Mental Health Foundation are putting a focus on anxiety for this week, so we thought we’d have a look at the links between unemployment and anxiety and give you some tips on how to cope. Anxiety disorders affect one in ten people in the UK and it’s described as the fear we feel when dealing with threatening or difficult situations. It’s understandable that, when you’re looking for a job, you’re bound to experience some degree of anxiety, but for some people, this can become a much more serious issue affecting their day to day lives. Here’s a few tips on pulling through while you’re jobhunting:
The first step is accepting that looking for a job is hard and that it’s ok to feel anxious – to be honest, it’d be pretty weird if you were completely calm about not having a job – but it’s important to remember that you are not the only young person in the country struggling to find work. In fact, according to statistic released yesterday, there are over 850,000 other people who are in the same boat. So take a deep breath and watch Joe’s vlog about being unemployed but not being alone. And remember that it’s not easy looking for a job, you might apply for lots of jobs before you get the one you’re looking for so check out our advice on dealing with rejection.
Develop a daily plan
Obviously you don’t want every day to look the same as you’ll get bored. But you also need to make sure that your days don’t solely consist of lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, panicking about how you’re ever going to find a job. There are loads of things you can do to make sure that you’re not just wallowing and getting anxious about finding a job. Go out and see friends, spend some time jobhunting from a café, or do some volunteering to help improve your CV.
Quit putting yourself down
Telling yourself you’re useless and no-one is ever going to hire you is not going to help you find a job. You need to have a bit of confidence in yourself to be able to sell yourself in job applications. A good place to start is by writing down all the things you’re good at. Yes, it’s very un-British to be proud of your accomplishments but sometimes when you keep beating yourself up, you need a bit of a reminder that you’re not useless. So write it down (if you’re really struggling, ask your best mate – they’re great at knowing what you’re good at!) and remember it. If one of the problems you’re having is that you lack confidence when walking into an interview or when you go in for work experience, have a read of our advice on faking confidence.
Talk to someone
We don’t necessarily mean seek professional help, but having a chat with someone – even just your best mate or your parents – about how you’re feeling can be really helpful. Just grabbing a coffee and a chat with someone can help you to feel significantly better. Plus, they might be able to offer some good advice about dealing with the stress and anxiety that you’re feeling. If you don’t feel like you can talk to your friends or parents about it, you could join an online community or forum where you might find other people experiencing similar situations. The Anxiety subreddit on Reddit is a great place to start and there’s often some great advice on there.
Get more help
If you’re really struggling with anxiety and it’s getting to the point where you’re not doing things that you would normally, you should see your GP. They’ll want to know a bit about your feelings and any other symptoms you’re having – such as panic attacks or difficulty in concentrating. Your doctor will probably ask some questions about your situation too but they just want a full picture so that they can recommend the best next steps for you. For more on dealing with unemployment, have a look at…