For the past few weeks, I’ve been posting at least once a week about something unemployment-related, and this week is no different. John’s been out of a job for almost a full month now, and he’s starting to settle into a new schedule. It can be hard to find a new groove, but we’ve gone through this 3 other times and have some tips on setting your schedule while unemployed. I’ve included tips for both you and your spouse, because you’re being affected by this job loss, too! (Assuming your spouse is the one who is unemployed) It takes time and patience, but you will be able to set some semblance of a schedule.
For your spouse
- Keep your schedule as close to your regular work schedule as possible. For example, wake up at the same time, get ready using the same routine, and start your “work” at the same time. Being unemployed means you do have the ability to sleep longer, but when you start waking up at 9:00 AM every morning instead of 5:00, you start losing a lot of motivation and feel like you’ve wasted the whole day.
- Finding a job is now your full-time job. It’s so easy to lay around the house all day. But if you don’t look for a job, you won’t find one. Especially if you’re on unemployment, you need to constantly be on the hunt, using your computer more for job searching than other things.
- Take exercise breaks throughout the day. Even though searching for a job is your top priority, you still have to stop every so often or else your brain will fry. Work for 90 minutes or so, then get up and take a 15 minute walk around the block. You’ll get your steps in (Very important if you have a Fitbit like we do. 😉 ) and it’ll help clear your thoughts for your next block of work time.
- Only eat at designated times. I know this sounds weird, but once I decided to stay home with Allison, I suddenly had the kitchen available to me 24/7. It was so easy to get in the fridge, grab a snack, and go back to my day. Do that every hour, and you’re bound to pack on a few pounds. Keep one snack at your computer and eat just that until your next meal.
Tips For You
- Try to respect your spouse’s time. I’ll be honest, it’s hard to keep from asking John to help with every little thing. I mean, I’ve been perfectly capable of taking care of Allison by myself during the day for the past 2 and a half years; why do I suddenly need him so much? He does take some time during the day to do stuff with us, which is nice, but for the most part, I try to pretend that he’s not even here while he’s working.
- Ask what he needs. Sometimes I just don’t know what John needs from me during the day now, whether it’s quiet time, or something else. If I know what he’s doing all day, I’m more apt to keep his door closed and only talk to him if it’s important.
Here’s an example of John’s current schedule. Everything in green is his. We use Google Calendar for pretty much everything, and putting something concrete on a calendar makes us more likely to keep to that schedule. Of course, it doesn’t always happen that way, but it’s nice to have guidelines on what we should be doing. Mondays are dedicated to job hunting, while the rest of the week is for personal development and building skills. Being unemployed is hard work!
What would you add to this list? Everything here is from my and John’s personal experience, and we’d love to hear more advice from those who have been through the same thing!