7 Ways to Reduce Stress
How to deal with stress in times of uncertainty
This is the most relatable topic on the internet right now. It’s easy to feel stressed during these times when everywhere you look and every time you turn around there is more bad news about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the economy is reacting accordingly. If you haven’t been impacted in some way yourself, you certainly know of someone who has. It’s a tough time and that’s an understatement. It’s unlike anything seen or experienced in most of our lifetimes and yet, we will get through it and we will come out the other side.
It’s important during times of extreme uncertainty to keep your stress levels in check. While it is completely understandable to feel stressed, it’s also key to remember that feeling stress won’t fix the situation- it will only make it worse. Much easier said than done and let’s be real, no one can possibly eliminate ALL of their stress during this time. However, we can make it bearable and who knows maybe even become better for it.
Here are 7 ideas for how to deal with stress and get through this thing called life right now.
Go outside. Get outdoors and get some exercise, sunshine, fresh air, and a fresh perspective. It doesn’t matter how bad your day is, it will be better if you spend some time with nature (safely and while practicing appropriate social distancing guidelines, of course.)
Find gratitude. This one is HARD – so hard. However, if you give yourself some time to sit quietly and truly think about everything in your life, you’ll be able to find one thing to be grateful for. You’ll feel better for it.
Do one thing each day to improve your current situation. You know the saying that moving forward isn’t defined by how big of a step you take, but instead by the fact that you took a step at all? That’s all that matters. Whether it’s matters of your health or job or anything in between, do one thing every day that makes you feel as if you are bettering that situation. You will better your situation faster than you think. Do what you can with what you have.
Spend time with friends and family (virtually). Make sure to take time each day to connect with other humans. We are social creatures and even us introverts need relationships.
Focus on yourself and get back to the basics. For many of us, this situation has given us the gift of time. We have more time to get adequate rest, more time to prepare healthier meals, more time to exercise, more time at home with our kids, etc. Use it wisely. Before you know it, we’ll be back in the daily grind (and maybe even missing certain parts of this “new normal”?).
Learn something new. This is another great way to make time go faster and to feel better about yourself and to feel as if this time was productive and meaningful for you. Learn something new whether it’s a new job skill, a new software, a new language, a new hobby, a new recipe – anything! For me personally, I have a lot of anxiety about this situation and feeling as if I’m “losing time” and learning something new has helped me feel as if this time is serving a purpose.
LAUGH. I can’t stress this enough. Laughing is the best medicine for anything. Watch a funny show, movie, comedy on YouTube – whatever you need to do that makes you feel lighthearted and if you can “escape” for a period of time. Sometimes life just seems so overwhelming and ridiculous that all you can do is laugh or you’ll cry.
These are just some of many ideas that are out there that can be used to help yourself through these very stressful times. Even if you can’t do them all – try one and see the positive difference that it will make in your daily life, even if just briefly. Hang in there everyone, we will come out on the other side of this!
5 Tips to Find a Job in a Challenging Economy
Many individuals are currently finding themselves on the hunt for a new job or a better paying job. The current economic environment has been greatly impacted by COVID-19 and other political factors and has caused upheaval in many industries. This has caused many employers to downsize, rightsize, do furloughs, do salary cuts, reduce hours, etc. While this is often smart business sense and necessary in order for businesses to ride out this storm, it obviously can have a very negative and life changing impact on its employees. Additionally, it’s a very difficult time to be looking for a new job because it’s a scary time right now for businesses too – they don’t know how long this will last. They don’t know what their hiring budget will look like. They don’t know if they are going to make it out on the other side of this.
So, what do you do if you find that you are in the job market right now searching for something new?
Let’s discuss five ways to navigate a challenging economy.
Come up with a game plan. This step is essential. When we lose our jobs or our salaries get cut, the natural reaction is to panic and just starting “doing stuff”. We get frantic and start applying for any job we can find, cancelling our cable, and assuming we are doomed and life as we know it, is over. While it certainly does feel like it these days, this reaction won’t get us very far. I suggest you take what I call a two-pronged attack. You need a short-term game plan and you need a long-term game plan.
Find a job. Any job. Your short-term game plan is a job, ANY job, that you can get your hands on right now to ensure that there is money coming into the bank (though likely less than you were making before). This is where you need to get very creative and very humble. Your short-term attack is not the highlight of your career. We are not thriving, we are surviving. Some potentials jobs could be: freelance work doing your craft, whatever that may be; Amazon delivery drivers, grocery delivery, data entry online, filling out surveys online, call center agent from home, newspaper route, selling furniture or clothes online, etc. Obviously with a pandemic going on, you must consider your safety and your personal situation and which options would work for you.
Effective budgeting. Go through your personal budget line item by line item and see what you can and are willing to cut for the time being. This doesn’t have to be as painful as it sounds. Start with the items that you do enjoy, but would you really notice that much if it were no longer there? Or is there a less expensive option? Will it really matter if you get rid of it for a few months? Again, this is not the highlight of your personal life. If you are not able to find a short-term job, you will obviously need to do even more cutting. It’s important to remember that the short-term is not your new life and it is not your new forever normal. It is simply just life during the transition phase. Remember, we are surviving – not thriving.
Develop a long-term plan. The long-term plan is considering what’s next for you career-wise. In an economy like this, it’s likely going to take a bit longer than usual to land your next job. You may get lucky and find something right away, but for most people, you’re going to be in it for the long haul. With a short-term plan in place, you hopefully have given yourself the luxury of a bit more time. There are many things to consider here. Do you want another job that was exactly like the one you just had? Do you want to work in a different industry? Are your current skills transferable and could be used in different roles and industries that you perhaps never considered before? The important part about the long-term plan is thinking about how long can you handle your short-term plan? If you are only comfortable with your short-term plan for a small period of time, then you will want to make sure you are open to as many different opportunities as possible in your long-term plan. You’ll need to be less picky. If you’re comfortable living your short-term plan for as long as necessary, then you can probably afford to narrow down your options to and be as specific and particular as you want.
Consider developing a competitive advantage. Okay, okay obviously we run a business and therefore we wouldn’t be effective if we didn’t try to market our services, but hear me out. In a depressed economy, there are less jobs available and more people who need them. Therefore, it is imperative that you find a way to stick out from the crowd and its key to make sure your job search efforts are effective. At Solutions by HR, we offer a variety of services such as resume and cover letter writing, LinkedIn profiles, interview coaching, job search strategy, and career counseling. The best part? Everything is 40% off right now through May! We wanted to do our part to help the many individuals looking for new jobs right now but do so in a way that is more affordable during these uncertain times. If you’re curious what we offer, head on over to “Job Seekers” tab. Just remember, any price you see will have 40% taken off of it at check-out.
We hope that you have found these tips helpful or at the very least, it has provided you with a different perspective. Times are tough right now and if you find yourself experiencing a lot of uncertainty and stress, you can also check out our blog post on Coping with Stress here.
Hang in there friends and good luck in your job search!
Solutions by HR