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How to Even Again When You #canteven

Updated: Feb 23, 2019

It's exhausting. Maybe you've been applying for jobs and feel like you're being hit with what seems like a neverending fire hose spray of rejection. Maybe the constant blare of news and current events is wearing you down emotionally. Either way, it's easy to feel like you've reached the end of your rope and scream "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!" 

The popular adage says that if you fall off the horse, you get back on the horse, but sometimes looking at that saddle can generate a shudder at the thought of trying to climb back up. How can you move past that when it just seems like you #canteven

Take a break... It's essential to give yourself a rest from the constant grind. While job-seekers may feel pressure to apply to everything they see day-of-posting, doing so is a constant reminder of the situation and can start to feel like a rote task after a while, which can lead to fatigue and mistakes. Taking a day off from constant applications to recharge is good. They say job-hunting is a full-time job, and there's a reason why the week includes Saturdays and Sundays.

The same goes for current events. Given the easy access to constant news through many 24-hour cable news outlets and social media platforms, the news can sometimes seem inescapable. Disconnecting could be a conscious effort, but give your brain a rest and feed it something else for a while – read a book, watch a movie, binge-watch a TV show... give it some other input that changes its diet.

...But don't take too long of a break. A day or two can be a good break given life's perpetual pounding on your door, but if you put things off for too long, the stress of mounting tasks can actually work against you. Coming back to a mountain of tasks or catching up can have the dual effect of either demotivating you further or stressing you out even more when you take stock of everything facing you. 

It can also potentially discourage you to take breaks because you anticipate – and don't want to face – the mountain when you return, so you just plow through in an attempt to keep an even keel. That can be even more dangerous, because anything and anyone running too long will burn out.

Step away from the crush of negativity and give yourself a few moments of pleasure.

Indulge yourself... Everyone has their own things they like to "cheat" with to make themselves feel better psychologically, be it junk food or a guilty-pleasure TV show or a meal at a favorite restaurant. It's important to remind ourselves every now and then about the pleasurable things in our lives, and it also serves as a reward for the hard work we're putting in or a reminder of some good things that might be overshadowed by bad news. Step away from the crush of negativity and give yourself a few moments of pleasure.

...But don't go overboard. Try to gear towards smaller indulgences – a single meal out that doesn't break the bank, a couple of episodes of a TV show so you don't spend 2 days binging an entire season of something, a little bit of junk food but not an entire box/bag/tray. Too much, and you run a risk of feeling guilty afterwards of going overboard... which negates the mental-health benefits of the indulgence, and it could also have a similar effect as taking too much time off where you deny yourself future indulgences as a result of the self-imposed emotional backlash.

Let it out... There's only so much we can keep bottled up inside. Even the happiest, most optimistic people experience moments of soul-crushing doubt and sadness. It's okay to break down – in fact, it's human nature to express negative emotions as an outlet for the grief, stress and distress we carry around inside. To hold that all in as it builds up would send someone barrelling toward an emotional explosion (or even a breakdown). Allow yourself the luxury to cry, talk to friends, post on social media and vent.

...But don't leave the pressure-release valve open all the time. If you're a one-note singer who always has the same sad story to tell or the same complaints to spew, you run the risk of alienating people who are also reaching the limit of their intake on certain topics. They might pull away if they just can't take another conversation about politics or unhappiness over your endless job search – not that there isn't merit in your challenges or complaints, but it's not all of who you are, and continuing to be a well-rounded person who is not defined by a single issue will help you stay centered as you go through rocky times. 

Bottom line: Be excellent to yourself, but moderation is everything!

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