40 Ways to Keep Yourself Busy When You're Unemployed
During December 2010, America's unemployment rate hit just under 10 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You know what that means? It's now completely understandable if you lost your job. You no longer have to hang your head in shame. Plenty of people are in the same boat as you.
But, while you may be putting a good effort into finding a new job, there will be large portions of the day when you have nothing to do. While some wallowing is understandable, if left unchecked, it can turn into depression. You certainly don't want that! Rather than sitting around the house in your bathrobe, wallowing in the fact that you're currently jobless, find things you can do to keep yourself busy.
40 Things to Do to Keep Busy When You're Unemployed
1. Get out of bed.
2. Go about your morning routine as you did when you had a job. Shower, put on a fresh pair of clothes, and do your makeup, if applicable.
3. Make a list of the things you like about being unemployed. While there are downsides, lets' ignore them for now.
4. Go for a walk and get some fresh air.
5. Read a book. When you're done with that, read another one.
6. Solve the newspaper's daily crossword puzzle.
7. Spread out a jigsaw puzzle on your kitchen table. Put it together throughout the week. Then start a new one.
8. Watch an episode of your favorite show.
9. Do something physical between each episode, like a walk around the block. This will prevent couch-potato-itis.
10. Start a daily fitness routine, whether fun aerobic moves on the Wii Fit or a traditional video.
11. Prepare your meals from scratch. You have the time now.
12. Write a poem about your feelings.
13. Take a hot bath full of bubbles and sweet scents.
14. Write a letter to a family member. While you're at it, write a letter to everyone you care about. And not an email, but a real letter, made of paper.
15. Learn something new. Pick a subject that interests you and pick up a book about it from the library.
16. Paint your nails a fun color you normally couldn't wear if you had a job.
17. Give yourself a pamper day full of facials, manicures and pedicures.
18. Buy some free weights. If you're bored and don't know what to do, bust out some bicep curls.
19. Attend a local community education class. Learn how to cook Thai food or how to dance the salsa.
20. Attend local events. Keep a list of events on hand. If you feel bored, go to one, especially if it's free.
21. Watch what you eat. It can be easy to snack all day when you don't have a job. Make each bit count.
22. Get up at the same time every day, even if it's later than you did when you worked.
23. Join a club. Meet regularly to discuss your hobbies, like books, photography or painting.
24. Sing karaoke at a local bar.
25. Make some new friends. Go on lunch dates. You have all the time in the world!
26. Start making arts and crafts for friends' and family's birthdays. Crochet them a blanket or knit them some socks.
27. Hang out with other people you know that have lost their job.
28. Throw a party. Make it a potluck so you don't have to spend money on food.
29. Join a sports team. Bowling, billiards, softball, whatever you like.
30. Watch a themed movie marathon. Bake some snacks that fit the theme.
31. Spend more time with your family. Show them you care.
32. Clean the house. You don't have an excuse anymore.
33. Dress up. You'll feel awesome.
34. Knock on a neighbor's door. Introduce yourself and compliment their home. You may make a friend.
35. If you have a yard, spend some time outdoors. Soak up the sun for some nice vitamin D action.
36. Turn on some energetic music and dance around your living room. Wave your arms, kick your feet. Smile, laugh and twirl.
37. Find new places to eat your dinner. Eat steak at your patio table. Munch on hamburgers on you study's fold-out couch. Mix it up!
38. Volunteer your time to a local charity. Hand out food at a soup kitchen or leaflets at a fundraiser.
39. Rearrange your bedroom.
40. Make your own list of things to do or add to this one.
Now Choose One
Tomorrow, when you're so bored you can barely get out of bed, pick something from this list. Do it. It'll keep you busy and give you something better to do. And, if you still feel bored and restless afterward, pick something else from the list and do that.
Above all else, strive to avoid falling into a pit of depression. Eventually, you'll get another job. But in the meantime, keep your chin up.