Generally, I’m coping okay at the moment. But one thing I am struggling with is the inability to relax.
Whenever I take time to just watch TV or do nothing, I have this nagging guilt that I should be doing more with my time.
I’m currently looking for work and have been since returning to the UK in August. I have spent endless time trawling through job sites, applying for jobs and trying to boost my CV. I’ve done bits of freelance work, taught myself new skills and done online courses. And to be honest, my CV looks a lot better now than it did 6 months ago.
But until I find longer term, consistent employment, I don’t think I’ll be able to relax properly.
I find myself stuck between a self-berating rock and a guilty hard place. I berate myself when I don’t take time to relax. But then when I do take a break, I feel guilty that I’m wasting time. This then feels even worse because I’m neither relaxing properly nor being productive.
It’s hard to reward myself with a well-earned break when I feel like I haven’t achieved anything. Job-hunting, by its nature, doesn’t provide much recognition for the amount of effort it takes. Sometimes, I’ll get an unfortunately on this occasion your application has been unsuccessful. Most of the time though, I just get ghosted. Without any positive affirmation I feel I haven’t earned the right to relax yet.
Because there is no standard Monday to Friday schedule when searching for work, I struggle to take entire days off. There’s no such thing as a weekend when every day is the same. There’s always something else I could be doing, so why am I wasting time not doing it? I should be spending my time tailoring my CV or researching potential employers. I can’t afford to squander it watching TV or playing Scrabble.
This whole effect is compounded by the fact that currently there isn’t much to do even when I do allow myself time off. Because I can’t go anywhere or do anything exciting, I may as well continue rotting away at my laptop instead.
I try and cut myself some slack because, as everyone helpfully keeps telling me, it’s a terrible time to be applying. Working on this website has helped me focus on something different, which I have enjoyed.
But with an unknown end-date (to both the job hunt and the pandemic), I’m looking forward to being able to relax again, guilt-free.
Thank you to everyone for the positive response to my website so far – I really appreciate it! If you have any feedback, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.