WAIT! Before you roll your eyes and click away, let me explain. I know what you’re thinking. “Cleaning!? Who in their right mind likes cleaning?”…I DON’T! I hate cleaning. So why, you ask, did I add it to my list? Simple…it’s one of the most important things you will EVER do in your unemployed existence.
Like you, the last thing I imagined spending my free time on was scrubbing toilets (despite the fact that there was now more time to do it). All those fun things I dreamed about while working—spending more time on hobbies, hanging out with friends and family, sleeping in, and learning new skills—were at the top of the list. As a result, dirty dishes piled up in the sink, the laundry went unwashed for weeks, and trash accumulated around the house, and why not? I didn’t have anyone to impress anymore. But as bills came due and those “fun” things I imagined didn’t live up to the expectation, the clutter just compounded the stress and anxiety. Depression set in as rejection email after rejection email showed up in my in-box. In a way, my house became a reflection of my self-esteem. With every rejection a new pile of trash would appear. Something needed to change.
After reading about the link between unemployment and mental health (there is a link to one of the articles in my last posting). I started to research depression and found that cleaning was one of the first things doctors recommended to alleviate stress (Click here to learn more about the health benefits of cleaning). Therefore, I have included it as one of my top ten things to do while unemployed. Setting up a schedule creates a purpose to wake up and get out of bed. Cleaning may seem trivial, but when all is said and done, it may be the ONE thing that helps keep depression at bay while unemployed. So break out your bleach and get to work…your sanity may depend upon it.