How fitness can help you survive unemployment
Did you know that 21.6 million young adults, that's 36% of those aged 18 to 31, are still living at home? Rising unemployment rates amongst millennials – the rate has rise 7% since 2007 – and a decline in marriage rates could be contributory factors. This failure to launch means many young people are unemployed, living at home and facing student loan debts whilst trying to find a job.
Unemployment can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and even weight gain. Without your job to motivate you, it can be hard to find the energy to workout at the gym or go for a run. Even your social life and personal relationships can suffer. But fitness can actually help to banish those unemployment blues – you'll boost your self-confidence, build endurance and strength and increase your energy levels, which could make job hunting less stressful. So how can fitness help you out of the unemployment doldrums?
It boosts your self-confidence
For many of us, our self-confidence and sense of worth is intrinsically linked to what we do for a living. Whether you work from home running your own business or have an important job in the city, you're probably good at what you do. Sometimes, low self-esteem can be a barrier to getting the job you want – confidence is an important trait that employers look for at interview.
Try practising yoga to balance your body and mind; it can make you stronger. Yogic breathing and meditation helps to centre you, putting you in touch with your inner self. The boost of self-confidence you'll get will ensure you present yourself well at interview. If you believe in yourself, others are more likely to believe in you too. Yoga and meditation are also great stress relievers; you'd be surprised at how stressful job hunting can be!
It can improve your concentration
When you're not working a 9 to 5 job, it can be easy to lose focus. Searching for a job can be tough and other things seem to easily distract you. Sometimes socialising can seem more important (and easier) than the endless cycle of job applications and rejections. Working out at the gym or practising yoga or pilates can help to strengthen your concentration. This means you're less likely to get distracted and will be more focused on your goals. This isn't just helpful for the application process, it keeps your mind active, ready for when you finally land your dream job.
It establishes a routine
A structured routine is probably what's missing from your life if you're unemployed. Wake up late, worry and stress about having no job, laze around in a black mood and have nothing to do with your time. Does this sound like your typical day? Snap out of it and establish a healthy routine by starting your day with a run outside (boost your vitamin D levels) or at the gym, or head for a yoga class. After a post-workout snack, set aside a few hours for job applications and phone calls. Break for a healthy, protein-packed lunch and then carry out a couple more hours of job-related activities. The day will be over before you know it and you'll find that staying productive helps you to stay feeling more positive.
It improves your people skills
Being out of work may leave you feeling isolated, and one thing employers value above all else is people skills. Ensure you don't become a hermit by signing up for yoga or spin classes at your gym, or why not try something like rock climbing as a great way to meet new people? Not only will you improve your people skills, you'll also be working on your body language, eye contact and communication skills too, so you're sure to impress when you're invited to interview.
It helps creativity
Sitting indoors all day can leave you feeling depressed, and if you're looking for a job in a creative industry, or even just considering new ways of job hunting, you need to get your creative juices flowing. Which, let's face it, isn't going to happen whilst watching another episode of TOWIE. Get outside and go for a walk, or call a friend and buddy up for a run. This will help to alleviate stress as well as boosting your creativity, and you'll find those endorphins will keep you feeling positive, even when times are tough.
It keeps your hormones balanced
When we're stressed, our bodies produce adrenaline and cortisol, our 'fight or flight' hormones which can actually make us feel even more stressed. One way to control your levels of these hormones is to tackle your stress, head-on. A few minutes of meditation a day, a yoga class, massage or acupuncture session can help to alleviate stress and calm your mind. This in turn helps keep hormones balanced, which means you're less likely to experience cravings and reach for the biscuit tin. Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables can also help you to feel more in control and less stressed, as can getting eight to ten hours of sleep a night.
It helps you connect with people
They say it's not what you know, it's who you know, and this is often true. Networking is a great way to find out about job vacancies and boost your career prospects. Where better to meet people than at a fitness bootcamp at your local park or a boxing training session? Getting fit means you'll meet other, like-minded people, and the opportunity to talk about work is bound to come up. If you're looking for a job in the fitness or health industry, such as working as a personal trainer, this can be an even better way to find it!
It gives you more energy
Energy is something we never seem to have enough of, but eating the right foods and taking regular exercise can help. Endorphins are a natural vitality booster and can improve your mood, helping you feel relaxed, calm and focused – three great traits you can take to your interview with you. Exercising will help you get in the right frame of mind to tackle that pile of applications sitting on your desk and will help to dampen anxiety about interviews.
Being fit and healthy is good for your mind and your body. If you're out of work, lacking motivation and needing a boost, focusing on cooking healthy meals from scratch and establishing a workout routine not only helps to give you a sense of achievement, it also provides you with the necessary tools to make job hunting less stressful and more satisfying.