Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Working w/ unemployment : get a hobby

When you're unemployed, looking for employment is your full time job.

That said, we all need some time to recover, rest or veg out after a day or many days of work. There are only so many jobs posted, only so many people you can contact, and only so many coherent cover letters you can write in a day. This is where I find the sometimes harsh sounding advice to "get a hobby" actually really useful.

Hopefully you have a hobby already*: sports, reading, hiking, crafting (one of my hobbies of choice, and appropriately, March is National Craft Month). Spending time with your partner, family, kids or friends definitely qualifies (and is, dare I say, imperative!) as well.

*If you really don't have a hobby, a CNN quiz from 2007 claims it can help you find "America's New Leisure."

I've found that my hobbies have not only helped me stay sane, but also provided me a reward system (finish 10 cover letters and I can take a reading break), helped me with last week's tip of learning something (I'm completing online lessons in coding and crocheting), and helped me get organized (I'm reducing my crafting stash bit by bit). Just as hobbies are diverse, so are the benefits.

Hobbies don't have to be costly, which is obviously a concern at this time. I've a lot of craft supplies that I've saved over the years but never used, and loads of books I never made the time to read (and thousands more at my disposal at the library). If your hobbies lean more towards sports or the outdoors, chances are you already have the equipment, and if not, a local community center might have it available for free. Community publications and websites (like Craigslist) are great places to find others with similar interests if your hobby works best in social settings.

Unemployed or not, what hobbies help you unwind and recharge? Please share in the comments!

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