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Worried, Stressed and Anxious About Your Job Search?...Ways to Cope... Jacquie Ottema, Employment Facilitator at the Newmarket Employment Resource Centre

About the Author

''Don't know how to get down to the nitty-gritty of this labour market? I CAN HELP! By attending my workshop entitled "What's Hot and What's Not" you can learn where to get started to find out key information about where the majority of jobs can be found in any field in this current labour market. Call the Newmarket Employment Resource Centre at 905-952-0502 to sign up! There's no cost to you!''

Jacquie Ottema is an Employment Facilitator at the Newmarket Employment Resource Centre.
Click here for info about the Newmarket Employment Resource Centre

Why do we worry? Well...for starters you're out of work, and then comes the financial considerations, the bills pile up, the isolation and the frustration that can accompany unemployment start to bog you down. Hard not to feel stressed during one of the top 5 most stressful times a person can face in their lives. Stress and anxiety do have their place, because they push us to make necessary changes in our lives or may signal when we are in danger. Stress can inspire us to take action. In fact, feelings of stress and anxiety are healthy and necessary at times.

So how do you recognize when worry and anxiety are unhealthy? When they stop pushing us to act. Either because we are worried about things that are not under our control or that have not happened yet, or because we are immobilized and bogged down by the stress and anxiety we feel, rather than being inspired to act. Whatever the reason, this worry and anxiety can cause a lot of stress on our minds and bodies, affect our health, our ability to think rationally, organize ourselves and move forward. do we cope with stress and anxiety? The best remedy is self-examination and action. Here are some easy steps to follow:

First, look inside. What is causing you to worry? Be specific. Writing in a journal can help you sort out your feelings and thoughts.

Then, decide what action, if any, could be taken. Try to figure out what part of the situation is under your control. Assess the problem to see whether the threat is real, or if you are blowing it out of proportion. If the problem is just a hypothetical situation or a worst-case scenario, decide if it is really likely that your fears will actually come to fruition.

Next, come up with a plan that tackles the part of the problem that is under your control. Taking action is a good way to channel your energy and provides reassurance against your fears. It is, in most cases, the healthiest response to realistic fears and worries.

Some actions to consider:

  • Become very aware of your self talk -- keep your thoughts positive

  • Listen to music - rock and roll, classical, pop – its all good

  • Exercise; run, walk, skip, jump, play tennis, basketball, hockey - just be active

  • Eat a healthy and well balanced diet , stay away from caffeine and sugar

  • Meditate (free meditation classes can be taken through

  • Plan your activities for the following day, the night before – set yourself some goals

  • Talk with a trusted and supportive friend

  • Volunteer in your community - it makes you feel good to help

  • Take up an old hobby or find a new one

Once you have done all you can, just let it go. Like everything in life, this is easier said than done but with practice you can get pretty good at letting go of excessive levels of stress and anxiety once you acknowledge and recognize it. You can do this by focusing on something else, reminding yourself of the solutions you have worked on, or trying some stress management strategies that can help you feel more centered and at peace.

If you still find yourself concerned on a constant basis, you may want to talk to a professional depending on how severe your worry is and how much it is affecting your life and job search.

You are all you have! Don't compromise yourself! Just take action!

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