Holiday Gifts to Give Yourself When Unemployed

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The holidays are an easy time to fall into depression for the unemployed. Keeping your spirit up is difficult even in the best of times, but the challenges can be especially hard during the holidays. Experts agree that when unemployed it's important to maintain a positive mental attitude and treat yourself well in order to increase your chances for landing on your feet in a new job. The question becomes how: when the weather is cold, the bank account dwindling, and the year is not ending on a high note. Here are suggestions from thought leaders in the field.Be your own BFF. Life coach Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Way in a Wild World, believes you need to train yourself to be your own best friend forever (BFF). Writing in the January 2015 edition of Oprah magazine, Beck notes that each of us can train the voices in our heads to either be a BFS (Best Friend Self) or Train Wreck Self (TWS). When we put ourselves down for being unemployed, we're letting our TWS take over. Instead, we really need our best friend to step forward. "True friendship," Beck writes "is about kindness, and reciprocity, support and authentic love." Instead of beating yourself up for losing a job, give yourself support for being strong, kind, and working to rebound.

Work your second job. According to Robert Leahy, author of Keeping Your Head After Losing Your Job, you have two jobs when unemployed. The first is to find another job, but not at the detriment of your second job -- "taking care of yourself." The second, Leahy notes, may be more important for avoiding depression and getting you in shape to find your next position.

Find gratitude. When unemployed, many concentrate only on that one fact of life and forget all the positives happening around them. Once the darling of new age gurus like Rhonda Byrne, gratitude has hit the mainstream, with articles in business magazines from Inc. to Forbes quoting research on the value of gratitude in setting a solid foundation for attracting future success into your life. The holidays are a great time to take time and be grateful for something, someone or some times in your life, including (if you're able) to be grateful for the time spent in your last position, the lessons learned, and the possibilities that may now lay ahead with your newfound wisdom.

Set the stage. The holidays are defined by decorations, atmosphere and tradition. Regardless of where you live in the nation, you know it's Christmas: trees are lit with lights, people play songs of snow and sleigh bells even in warmer climates, and red and green get worn more often than before. All these cues set the stage for the holidays. Think about how you can also set the stage for job success. Do you need to be colorful in your interview attire, polish your nails, or put on daily makeup to work at your computer? Be your own stagehand and start making the changes needed to spruce up your personal profile.

Enjoy free. Many criticize the holidays for becoming too commercialized. If there ever was a time to stop the commercial craziness and tap into the spiritualism of the season, this should be it, if you're unemployed. Check out this Apple commercial of a gift that can only be defined as priceless. Ironically, it's an ad to suggest you buy an iPad, but the sentiment still resonates. Find the free you, too, can give both to yourself and others, and see if those aren't the most valued gifts given this season.

There's a reason the old Jimmy Stewart movie It's a Wonderful Life stays current. Give yourself an afternoon off to wallow in it and other great holiday movies--or better yet, watch it with a loved one as the holidays and unemployment truly benefit from the company of supportive loved ones. It's just one more freebie gift you can give yourself.
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