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Surviving Unemployment: Write your way to happiness.

August 12, 2011

Remember the first days of the school year with your new notebooks and new pens?  You couldn’t wait to start writing with them.   And when bored, you doodled with those pens on the notebooks with curlicues, lines, arrows, hearts or anything that came to mind.  Now is somewhat different.  Instead of doodling we use the notebooks and pens to write our thoughts, make lists, or send greetings.  However, we don’t do all our writing ink and paper; the computer has replaced the age old tools.

Whether it is with ink and paper or on a laptop, writing is a way to communicate what we are thinking inside. Instead of bottling up our feelings, we put them out there in the open air.  We realize that there is more to us than what is on the surface.  We are discovering ourselves.

Some of the activities on the list below are creative.  Creating something is good for our self-esteem and self-confidence.   Others let what is inside of you out.  Getting it off your chest as it were, freeing you from the burdens they cause. These are only meant for you to see after you have written them.  Others are communications with other people to let others know you are thinking about them and that you care about them. You are reaching out to someone else and brightening their day.  Whichever action you choose, you will feel better for having done it.

  • List all your blessings:  Not all in your life is as bleak as it may seem.  There are many things in your life to be thankful for.  You have your health, friends, family, a roof over your head and you woke up this morning.  Continue to grow this list for several days.  What you are thankful for doesn’t have to be big; anything you are thankful for counts.
  • Take inventory of your worth:  Rather than listing your financial assets, list what makes you a valuable person.   Include your family and friends, education, works of charity and compassion, hobbies, books you have read, successes, achievements and honors.
  • Journal your feelings:  Spend a few moments each day to write down how you are feeling, what you are thinking on any given current event.    You don’t have to think, just write what comes to mind.
  • Write a blog:  Write about your favorite topic.  Setting up a blog account is quick and easy.  Let others in on what you think or know about something important to you.
  • Research:   Remember the endless reports you did in school.  Research a topic you are interested in and write about as you would a school project for no other reason than your own satisfaction.  Now you can call it a white paper.
  • Write letters:  If you are like many, you have lost touch with old friends and some family members.  Now is a great time to write them a letter to catch them up on what you have been doing since you last saw them.  However, don’t let them think that you are reaching out only because you are unemployed and looking for them to help you.  Simply tell them that you are fine and have some time available that allows you to reconnect with people you have lost touch with.  Or write a letter that you definitely shouldn’t send to the person who laid you off telling them what you are thinking and feeling.  Then shred it.  You don’t have to send it to make you feel better.
  • Write down your goals:  Think about what your goals are for the coming year, a five year goal and a 10 year goal.  After you have determined your goals, write down an action plan for achieving them.  Then go out and do it.

Write it out; explain it to yourself; create a plan for living; share with other people; learn about who you are right now; put it in writing and commit to it.  You are doing yourself a huge favor.  So grab a pen, some paper or your computer and start writing.  You don’t have to think about what you are writing.  Just free yourself.

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach providing stuck job searchers with the tools they need to find the job of their dreams.

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