The advice in the article below might seem familiar. I’ve seen plenty of advice on the topic of how to keep moving in life during difficult times over the last few years. Things like turning off the news, keeping to a normal routine, etc. What I like about this article is that it acknowledges the elephant in the room that typical advice doesn’t when you’re not working.
“Many people are in a job search and have to keep the quest moving regardless of world events.”
Therein lies the rub. The difference between being informed and being overwhelmed often comes down to being able to turn the news off, set boundaries around our social media use, and so on. But it can be especially difficult to do that when your day isn’t filled with things you have to do. Let me give you an example from my own life.
I work from home, so my day typically starts with coffee and breakfast with my wife before she leaves for the office, while we catch up with the world on BBC News. All too often the news isn’t good. The BBC newscasters are giving us stories about war, natural disasters, hate, and that before we even start in about politics. There are plenty of days where the impulse to leave that on and doom scroll social media at the same time is strong. But, regardless of what we just saw on the morning news I’ve got a standing meeting every day at 8 AM that I need to log in and attend. So, I turn off the news and social media and move forward with my day, even when the news feels overwhelmingly sad.
During the months between being laid off and starting this new job, though, there was no routine that I HAD to get into each morning. Sure, there were things I wanted to accomplish each day, but none of them forced me to stop and move forward at a specific time. I found myself percolating in that sadness and anxiety a little longer each morning and watched that anxiety and struggle get a little worse as time wore on. I was already struggling with anxiety and a bit of depression because of my job situation, world events just piled on top of that, and while I still wanted to stay up to date, I had to find a way to not fixate and to move forward with my day instead of wallowing in news and social media coverage for hours.
Some days I didn’t win that battle. These days, the battle is a little easier because there’s a structure and a routine I need to get into each day. When you’re out of work and searching for a job, you’re the only one who can enforce a routine on your days. There’s no 8 AM standup meeting each morning with the team who will notice that you’re not there. It’s just you.
Unless you have some other folks who are searching, then maybe you can start your own routines together and hold each other accountable to turn the TV and social media off as you start your day.
How have you kept our days moving forward with “all of this” going on in the world?