Single mom, unemployed: Avoiding pushing the panic button
If you are among the thousands of unemployed, you’re likely to feel the fears and uncertainty of other employed individuals. However, as a single mom, you are likely to feel greater anxiety, maybe even panic. But your greatest enemy is panic. The worrying generated by panicking will not change your situation and may even lead you to start to feel physically ill. There are several key points to focus on while unemployed. But, before you make any decisions, make sure your choices are not made during periods of heightened worry, anxiety or stress. Below are some key steps single moms can take instead of pushing the panic button.
Focus on assets/help:
· Food banks – seeking help through this outlet will help save money for things like health care or other unexpected bills.
· Free/reduced health care or cobra benefits.
· Shop goodwill or thrift stores.
· Family or friends.
Getting back to work: revise your resume:
· Do not make a “generic” resume and send it to 50 potential employers.
Although initially this may make you feel as if you are taking action, it can back fire. Your “generic” resume may get quickly tossed aside. As well sending in your resume blindly to multiple companies, you are likely to feel worse if you don’t hear from any of them.
· Target specific jobs/companies you are most qualified for. Look for key words in the job descriptions that match your experience and include those key words on your resume.
· Avoid “hopeless” thinking.
· Set aside daily relaxation time for yourself. It’s important to take a break from focusing on your unemployment status. After you’ve spent your allocated time job searching, decide on your relaxation time and activities.
· Relax by going to the beach, lake or mountains or find a good book in a thrift store.
· Have one “family outing” each week. Your children must feel that mom is secure and taking care of everything. It is also important for the “family unit” to stay close during this time.
· Rent a movie from your local redbox – inexpensive and still allows for fun.
These low cost activities won’t tear through your cash and will also keep you emotionally healthy and balanced. Stopping all activities will likely lead to despair and feelings of being “trapped”. Your children are watching and will likely become more anxious if they see mom stopping “everything”.
Remember, you are among many unemployed yet you are still in control of your money and mental health. Stick to the steps outlined above and you will avoid feeling hopeless. Losing a job is a major life changing event. How you respond will determine the quality of your experience and happiness.
Don’t despair YOU are your greatest asset during this time!