Here in Michigan, nearly 16% of our population is unemployed right now, and that doesn’t include the people who are under-employed or have just stopped looking for work. It can be a very difficult time, and as someone who has been unemployed long-term, I can relate to the frustration and boredom of unplanned off-time. But there are so many useful, worthwhile things you can do while you’re looking for new job! Here’s my list of the 7 ways to handle unemployment boredom… all of which I’ve done!
1. Go Back to School
Photo Credit: rhukill
Not only will going back to school make you more attractive to potential employers, it’s also a great networking opportunity, and it’s interesting. Sure, it can be … daunting… to be the oldest person in the room sometimes, but it’s still worth a shot, and if you’re unemployed, you may even be able to go back to school for free!
Photo Credit: spratt504
We all have our favorite charities and worthy causes, so why not spend one day a week volunteering your time with yours? Read to sick children in the hospital, help build houses for struggling families, tend to sick or abused animals at the shelter. There’s so much good you can do!
3. Keep a Journal
Photo Credit: sosarem
Keeping a journal is a great way to battle boredom and depression. It can also end up being lucrative — you could always convert your journal or blog to a money-making publishing deal!
4. Go to the Gym
Photo Credit: AndreJenny.com
Do not, I repeat, do NOT, spend your days of unemployment on the couch! Get outside and get some exercise, or better yet, go to the gym! You don’t want to become lazy and chubby as well as unemployed, do you? Yikes!
5. Take Inexpensive Day Trips
Photo Credit: Just a guy who likes to take pictures
When I was working full-time, I didn’t have any time to spend with my children or just traveling to see local attractions. When I was laid off, I took the chance to take my girls on quick, inexpensive road trips. It was fun, and within our meager budget.
6. Keep a Garden
Photo Credit: menina1984
Fresh produce is expensive, and gardening can be relaxing… do you see where I’m going with this? If you have the space, try planting a small vegetable garden to help defray grocery costs and to de-stress. Or keep and care for a small orchard… whatever brings you closer to nature and helps fill your pantry!
7. Learn a New Language
Photo Credit: samtea.
Hand in hand with going back to school to learn a new trade or skill is learning a new language. You can learn something useful, that might come in handy in your area (here in southeast Michigan it would be Spanish or Arabic), or something to help you connect with your heritage (for me it would be Greek or French). Either way, it’s a great way to deal with some unemployment boredom!
These are just a few things you can do to bide your time through an unplanned unemployment time, but I’m sure there are more. Have you ever been unemployed for an extended period of time? How did you cope with the boredom? Please let me know!
Top Photo Credit: Alarzy