Job seekers are spending long, grueling hours, hitting the job front from multiple angles, but the stress is becoming unbearable. So, I decided to build a list of de-stressing tips which hopefully provide you with some relief.

1. Take stock in what you have. When did our personal worth become indicative upon a j-o-b? No doubt, the loss of income will force us to make some difficult decisions, but never will our income, possessions, or number of/type of credit cards we hold even come close to representing our self-worth.

My husband reminded me yesterday of what beautiful grandsons we have; and no matter the kind of day I'm having, or the day they've had, we grace each other with smiles, hugs, and kisses. They don't care about the job I have [or that I even have one]; they don't care about the fanciness of clothes I wear; they don't care about successes and failures I've had in my professional life. They care about my well-being, my happiness, and about the fullness of my you're loved Grammy meter.

It's too dang easy to lose sight of what *really* does matter, sadly concerning ourselves more about what's secondary, maybe even irrelevant; i.e. why didn't I get a response to my resume; why didn't I get that call from the recruiter like he promised; and, why am I not getting interviews. You can stress about the whys, but at the end of the day, they are meaningless.

2. Embrace that you're a pea in a pod. So many around you are facing the same job-search challenges, and although it might feel like you're alone, maybe on your own deserted island,  you are not alone.

I bet you have plenty to offer others who are unemployed - even if it's just an open ear. What's the best way for us to de-stress and shift focus from our own problems? Helping others always works for me.

Where can you find a pea buddy? How about ...

  • Online forums
  • Local job clubs
  • Business groups
  • Networking events

Let's conquer this together.

3. Get out every day, even if it's just a walk through your back yard. Visit your local library, and yes, the local unemployment office. Being unemployed doesn't mean you need to be in seclusion, facing the uphill battle all on your own.

Don't overlook transition assistant programs for those who've left the military, the resources provided from local employment centers, and the benefits that result from *just talking with people.*

Here's another insider tip that few use: visit your Chambers of Commerce. You'd be amazed how wonderful the people are who man these offices [I've served on countless executive boards and committees over the years] ... and wow, what a terrific resource they can be. These people are so helpful, and I *guarantee* you won't leave your Chamber's office unsatisfied. For example, they can provide details on upcoming business networking events (great for meeting professionals in your area), provide you with a membership directory (packed full of local companies, addresses, and sometimes, contact names), and on occasion can provide job leads.

Need additional ideas for getting out every day?

  • Meet your significant other for lunch; brainstorm on job-search strategies and ideas worth pursuing. In fact, ask for more than just advice ... ask for hands-on help. An extra pair of eyes and hands can go a long way.
  • Go yard sale-ing - crazy! I know. =] It's fun though ... and fun is a great de-stresser. Ah, but mention you're searching for a job as you casually peruse each sale's offerings.  You'll be amazed how many job leads you'll uncover using this unorthodox method.
  • Join area business groups that have power lunch sessions - many of the ABWA groups have daily power lunch meetings for professionals wanting that daily kick in the pants of motivation.

4. Grab a drink and curl up with a good book. Never overlook the calming effect of just sitting still and taking time for yourself. If you feel guilty stepping away from your job-search, opt for a self-help book to brush up your time management skills, or whatever skill you wish to improve upon, or go with something like the following:

What Color is Your Parachute, written by Richard Nelson Bolles [a great read]
Who Moved My Cheese, written by Spencer Johnson [funny stuff]

You may be jobless, but you are never, never useless or worthless. And don't you forget it!