The unemployment rate today has skyrocketed to approximately 10 percent and is forecast to stay above 9.5 percent for the rest of 2010. For the first time in American history, more women are working than men because close to 80 percent of the people laid off in the recent recession were men.
According to a recent study published in the “International Journal of Epidemiology,” unemployment is a major risk factor for depression, even in people without previous vulnerability. Because my husband is an architect — the housing market is dead, remember — whose work has slowed down substantially, I have an invested interest in this topic and wanted to know what I could do to help him stay physically and emotionally healthy, since, theoretically, one of us should be. Here, then, are 12 steps to bust your depression when you’re unemployed.
1. Take a breather
Whether you like it or not, you’ve just been given a breather. And chances are that you desperately needed it. One exercise to make you feel better immediately is to think about everything you hated about your job. In fact, make a list! Doesn’t that feel good? You will rejoin the rat race soon enough, so allow yourself some rest right now … a chance to actually eat a meal at home and not watch the minute hand of your watch so much. Try to appreciate the moment in present time, without constantly rushing. This hiatus from the pressure of corporate America will teach you more lessons and make you more resilient than you know.