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How to manage stress caused by being unemployed

First and foremost, remember that your worth is not defined solely by your employment status.

A man sitting behind a desk [Image: Thirdman]

Navigating the stormy seas of unemployment is already a monumental challenge.

When you factor in the weight of family expectations and judgment, it can feel overwhelming. But take heart. Many have walked this path and found their way.

  • Embrace self-compassion
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First and foremost, remember that your worth is not defined solely by your employment status. It's natural to feel down during this time, but avoid being overly critical of yourself. You are not alone in this.

  • Seek constructive feedback

If you've been sending out applications without success, it might be time to re-evaluate. Seek feedback on your CV from mentors, career counselors, or even online platforms dedicated to job seekers.

  • Expand your skillset
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Take advantage of online courses or workshops to enhance your skills or even learn new ones. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and Khan Academy offer a plethora of courses, some for free.

  • Network actively

Engage with professional networks in your field. LinkedIn, industry seminars, or local community groups can be excellent resources. You never know where the next opportunity might come from.

  • Consider alternative avenues for income

Look into freelancing, internships, or part-time jobs. While they might not be the ultimate goal, they can be a stepping stone, providing experience and potential references.

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  • Address the family pressure

Open a dialogue with your family. Express your feelings and the efforts you're making. They might not fully understand the intricacies of today's job market or the challenges you're facing.

  • Consider career counseling

Professional career counselors can offer valuable insights into job market trends, helping you identify sectors or roles you might not have considered.

  • Stay updated
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Ensure you're abreast of the latest trends and shifts in your industry. Read relevant journals, blogs, or magazines. Being knowledgeable can give you an edge in interviews.

  • Focus on well-being

Engage in activities that elevate your mood and mental health. This can be physical exercise, meditation, hobbies, or simply spending time in nature.

  • Seek emotional support

Consider joining support groups for job seekers, where you can share experiences, advice, and encouragement. Speaking to a counselor can also help process feelings of inadequacy or hopelessness.

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Unemployment, especially coupled with family pressure, can be a daunting phase. But it's just that—a phase. It doesn't define your worth or your future.

Stay persistent, remain proactive, and don't hesitate to lean on available resources. Remember, every 'no' brings you a step closer to the 'yes' that can change everything.

Editor's Note: Mindful Kenya offers mental health services on short USSD code *702*30#. By following the prompts a person seeking professional mental healthcare is linked with a specialist under a guarantee of anonymity.

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