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Out of Work May Mean Out of Sorts
Date:8/19/2010

However, Shern and Stotland noted steps that people who are unemployed can take to help care for their mental health, including:

  • Embracing the transformative possibilities of their new lives. "They can see this not as the catastrophic end of a lifelong plan to be successful, but more an opportunity to look at that plan, take a look at the world and be ready to take advantage of new opportunities that will eventually emerge," Shern said.
  • Making sure they stay connected with people. "When people are unemployed, they are going to lose that connection," he said. "They lose a very important social network that they had."
  • Finding pleasurable and relaxing pastimes that don't cost money. They could go for a walk, play with their kids or enjoy an old board game that's been gathering dust on a shelf. "Thinking about it, there are a lot of things to do," Stotland said. "There are all sorts of things you can do that you've been overlooking."
  • Eating right and exercising. Following a healthy lifestyle has been shown to promote mental wellness and decrease depression and anxiety, Shern said.

More information

Mental Health American has more on maintaining mental health by living well.

Read more about the stress of those seeking work.

SOURCES: David L. Shern, Ph.D, president and chief executive, Mental Health America, Alexandria, Va.; Nada Stotland, M.D., M.P.H., professor, psychiatry, Rush Medical College, Chicago


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