Monday, January 16, 2012

Fake It Till You Make It.

There is no hiding from the fact that when you are unemployed, you will go through various forms of negative emotions. It’s only natural considering that your life has taken a new direction and the future is unknown.

I have to keep reminding myself that the lows are always followed by a high, but this is hard to realise sometimes when everything seems against you. That’s why I have adopted a “fake it till you make it” approach - so that when I read yet another rejection email, I pretend that I didn’t really want that job and move on. So far it’s working.

Kubler-Ross developed a model on the five stages of grief which I feel can also be applied to the loss of a job.

Denial (that didn’t really happen, did it?)
Anger (how dare they do that to me)
Bargaining (if only I could have done something different ….)
Depression (I wont get another job)
Acceptance (its happened, now move on)

All of these feelings have value in being able to process a redundancy, with a particular  focus on the end result of acceptance. Managing these feelings can be quite cumbersome if you let them get on top of you, so I have developed some strategies that I try to employ to keep me buoyant when I’m feeling really down.

My daily mantra of “fake it till you make it” is working. Whenever I find myself falling into the trap of being angry or depressed at my unemployment situation, I refer to my list of happy things” and tick them off as appropriate.

Here is my list of things that make me happy and promote my well-being.  (in no particular order)

-          My family (always at the top of my list)
-          Massages
-          Lunches with friends
-          Music
-          Comedy movies
-          Chocolate
-          Exercise (running, pilates)
-          Charity work
-          Reading a good book
-          Walking the dog
-          Travel (oh how I love to explore new places)
-          Writing
Being unemployed also means there is a level of financial burden, so not all of the above can be adapted all the time. This is where I am resourceful.

I have been given massage vouchers by friends and family, so these are in use when I’m stressed. Rather than use them as soon as I get them, I bank them up for a “rainy day”. These just happen to be days when I’ve read too many rejection emails or sat at home waiting for the promised phone call.

Lunches with friends always cheer me up and they don’t need to be expensive. I need to eat anyway, so it may as well be with someone I can share a good belly laugh with.

Exercise is a fantastic vent. My cross-trainer gets a bit of a work out when I don’t feel fantastic - and despite the effort in getting on there and “running” for half an hour, I always feel refreshed and energised afterwards. Exercise release endorphins, the natural happy drug. Its free and very good for working off the chocolate. Walking the dog has the same effect, she loves it as much as I do.  

A good book is a wonderful distraction to the woes of job hunting. I devour books and love getting lost in stories. The same goes with a good movie. Or a decent CD. Putting on a CD in my lounge room and dancing around while no one is looking has become a favourite past time of mine (and my neighbours, judging by their laughter).

On laughing, nothing beats a great comedy.

Participating in a charitable organisation is food for the soul. It brings a sense of self worth, value and altruism that doesn’t come with sitting on the couch and dwelling in self pity.

And when money permits, I like to travel. Having something to look forward to is especially inspiring. It gives me a project to work on with research, planning, organising, booking and finally exploring! The more adventurous the better in my eyes.

Perhaps my “fake it till you make it approach” is still in the denial stage of the Kubler-Ross methodology, but for now its getting me through some tough times so I think I will continue it.

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