Separating job hunting and anxiety?

SeekingAfrica

MyPTSD Pro
How do you guys separate job hunting and anxiety?
And I mean if you have an anxiety disorder or really high anxiety, not just nervous jitters?

I've gone through a lot of change this year, and it's made my anxiety higher.
At the same time, my usual income has been lower for a while. So to actually change my situation I need extra income. The way I'm situated right now, it has to be online income for couple of months.

Anyway, I've been getting really anxious which has made it hard to make decisions. Like how long to spend looking for a job, how to structure my time looking, what kind of jobs am I looking for, and so on. Not having enough work makes me even more anxious, leading me to freeze and not do enough to look for work, and that creates this cycle that is very unproductive and keeping me in a perpetual state of not having enough. How do I snap out of this so I can improve my financial situation?
 

PlainJane

Moderator
When I was job hunting, I went from fine to overwhelmed so quickly. It helped to de-clutter, physically write down thoughts. Like what are absolute deal breakers, I tend to work by process of elimination. If I try to examine what I want when I already know the situation is going to overwhelm me, it starts the spiral faster. Filters are a god send when looking online for jobs. Use them to your advantage, take out anything that doesn't fit, then ease into what you can see yourself doing.

I literally have to work in a space that has NO physical clutter as well. As silly as it sounds, but I also dressed very specifically for it.

When my thoughts started to turn into I'm not good enough for that position instead of I don't have the qualifications for that position, I knew it was time to pack it up.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
How do you guys separate job hunting and anxiety?
And I mean if you have an anxiety disorder or really high anxiety, not just nervous jitters?

I've gone through a lot of change this year, and it's made my anxiety higher.
At the same time, my usual income has been lower for a while. So to actually change my situation I need extra income. The way I'm situated right now, it has to be online income for couple of months.

Anyway, I've been getting really anxious which has made it hard to make decisions. Like how long to spend looking for a job, how to structure my time looking, what kind of jobs am I looking for, and so on. Not having enough work makes me even more anxious, leading me to freeze and not do enough to look for work, and that creates this cycle that is very unproductive and keeping me in a perpetual state of not having enough. How do I snap out of this so I can improve my financial situation?
I use sticky notes. Write down each thing you have to do on a sticky note (if you are really bad off), do it, crumble it up, tell yourself "Good Job" and toss it in the can. Move to the next one. After you get X done, crumpled and tossed in the can, check the clock. (you decide when you need a 30 min. break and do something very different....like video game, take a walk, make a favorite food....call a friend....whatever as both a break and a reward. I set my phone for the 30 min. break so the alarm rings and then I get back to working again. When the sticky notes are gone, you are done your job hunting for the day. That is how I get hard things done...I can say it works for me....I also use notes in my phone, which I can check off each thing....but either works.
 

SeekingAfrica

MyPTSD Pro
I use sticky notes. Write down each thing you have to do on a sticky note (if you are really bad off), do it, crumble it up, tell yourself "Good Job" and toss it in the can. Move to the next one. After you get X done, crumpled and tossed in the can, check the clock. (you decide when you need a 30 min. break and do something very different....like video game, take a walk, make a favorite food....call a friend....whatever as both a break and a reward. I set my phone for the 30 min. break so the alarm rings and then I get back to working again. When the sticky notes are gone, you are done your job hunting for the day. That is how I get hard things done...I can say it works for me....I also use notes in my phone, which I can check off each thing....but either works.
I also do lists, checking things off is satisfying.

I just can't help but feel I need to be spending every waking moment looking for work. On good years, I could do that. Not since PTSD though. Now on good days I can still do a lot... but I am having a really bad bout of anxiety right now. Had to send an email to my client that was necessary but uncomfortable now... and I need a break before I start applications.

Also there are days where it's just like a mess in my head. I think it's when anxiety really hits and I can't break down tasks and I can't prioritize, because my head is full of blinding anxiety. Also makes it hard to believe in my ability to get a job when I feel so.

I'm trying to separate things in my head today. Like to try to apply to 3 positions today and do them well, instead of browsing through hundreds and feeling like I am not capable enough for any of them (I don't know what it is. I have a BA degree, I should have more faith, just some days are harder. I need to work on my confidence but I don't know how). I am so scared when my anxiety gets this bad, that I'll be unable to find anything. But I have to try so I'm saying it on here- will apply to 3 places today. And work on the rest.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
When it's like this I try to work with smaller bits and longer pauses. Just like in running you learn by intermittence with more walking than running and progressively invert, it works well with anxious time distribution. I'd set a clock to have 1/2 hour job hunting, 20 minutes pause. Then you can arrange your timings progressively. On the top of the tasks you give yourself a small recompense each time just for having held on, so you sort of coach yourself in rewards that are more direct and less depressing than looking up in the future and worrying about it. Ideally, fill your pauses with some sort of flash mindfulness, small nice exercises or even something nice to eat. Something to compensate the frost state and not in front of a screen, it's better I find.

However I also came to realise I had to be more selective in what I hunted because I could throw myself in stuff that I simply hated or were too demanding for how I am now. Fortunately I can have the council help and not worry about finding anything so quickly so much.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I also do lists, checking things off is satisfying.

I just can't help but feel I need to be spending every waking moment looking for work. On good years, I could do that. Not since PTSD though. Now on good days I can still do a lot... but I am having a really bad bout of anxiety right now. Had to send an email to my client that was necessary but uncomfortable now... and I need a break before I start applications.

Also there are days where it's just like a mess in my head. I think it's when anxiety really hits and I can't break down tasks and I can't prioritize, because my head is full of blinding anxiety. Also makes it hard to believe in my ability to get a job when I feel so.

I'm trying to separate things in my head today. Like to try to apply to 3 positions today and do them well, instead of browsing through hundreds and feeling like I am not capable enough for any of them (I don't know what it is. I have a BA degree, I should have more faith, just some days are harder. I need to work on my confidence but I don't know how). I am so scared when my anxiety gets this bad, that I'll be unable to find anything. But I have to try so I'm saying it on here- will apply to 3 places today. And work on the rest.
I'm going to ask, if it's okay, what do you normally do for anxiety? If I have anxiety caused by problems other than work, I take action to resolve the outside anxiety-unrelated to the job search.....so it's not layered on work related anxiety.

All of my anxiety is driven by fear and or/ projecting the worst case scenario....or bad outcomes which I have really gotten a much better handle on..........and when my anxiety gets bad, I now practice looking at the fear dead on and decide whether it is real or whether I'm blowing it up out of proportion.....That requires that I stop what I'm doing if I'm being unproductive and take a reality check and I may blow away the afternoon coming to grips with the nature of my anxiety.....determine where it is coming from, consider my real options, and just deal with it head on. There is a certain amount of "belief I have that things will work out, based on past experience. and that remember to tell myself that I'm competent and capable....sometimes I remind myself of this aloud.....I say positive self-statements to help me move past the doubt and fear creating the anxiety.

Meditation and journeying help me transition from a state of anxiety, to a state of calm. Physical exercise and self care also reduce anxiety significantly. So, rather than think of your job only as seeking work or/ a work schedule as everyday, all day....consider part of your regular day as taking 2 hrs in the morning to do self-care (physical exercise, aerobics, meditation, yoga, a healthy meal,...... but start the day out with the focus on your health, which will help to start your day off with anxiety reduction. Determine a schedule, and stick with it.....make the schedule work for your attention and energy level on any given day and break the tasks down into manageable parts....and use your checklist system.

I can't say enough about starting the day off eliminating and minimizing the the anxiety you can-particularly that's not work-related......so that you don't have layers of anxiety from nonwork-related topics or drama swirling in your head along with job-related issues. Consider eliminate people who start drama, stay away from them......to keep external anxiety issues at a minimum, and reduce daily stressors (like making a mess) and get good rest. I know for me, I stop working on the computer or viewing any screen 2 hrs before I turn of the lights for bed....which also helps....regular sleep is also important for minimizing stress and anxiety. Sorry I was so long.
 
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