Looking for work can be one of the toughest jobs you ever have to do. While it’s important to establish good work habits during this time, experts advise that you also build activities into your day that help reduce stress and keep your spirits high. Here are some to try:
To centre yourself anytime, Laura Warf, a fitness and mind/body specialist in Saint Saveur, Que., recommends this yogic breathing exercise. With your hands together at the sternum in a prayer position, take a deep breath in to the count of four and sweep the arms open and up as if drawing a big circle. When hands are above your head, slowly bring hands back together to the count of four and down the centre line back to your heart.
When you are feeling frustrated or depressed, sit quietly and observe your feelings. Whatever comes up — sadness, tears, etc. — allow them, says Warf. Stay with the emotion until it passes and you have a feeling of peace. It usually takes a few minutes.
At any time during the day, repeat a meaningful affirmation to yourself. One suggestion: “I have the power to manifest my dreams.”
Certain poses affect the way you feel about yourself. For example, the Tree pose is grounding and energizing. Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 are empowering poses that connect with your energy centre and build confidence. Child’s pose is a restorative and relaxing pose.
Use any type of regular physical activity to take your mind off your troubles and reduce anxiety and stress, says Oakville, Ont., stress expert David Posen. Feel-good hormones released during aerobic exercise help improve your mood.
Schedule regular time-outs (go for a walk, work on a puzzle, learn to play an instrument) to clear your mind.
Sit quietly in a relaxed position. Close your eyes and visualize your perfect job and work environment until your breathing is slow and deep.
“At the end of the day, try to look at this time of transition as a gift of time,” says Posen. “It’s an opportunity to take a breather from the busy working lives most of us have. Pace yourself and make the time pleasant while you job search.”