Being unemployed clearly takes its toll on one’s mood. In previous articles we’ve talked about the importance of engaging in pleasurable activities to help create a positive frame of mind and reinforce your job search activities. Frankly, looking for another position is hard work with long periods of little or no reward. Having fun can be your reward on days when you’ve spent “thankless” time on the computer and phone following up on leads. (See our other articles: “Have Fun for Little or No Money,” “Unemployed and Feeling Down? Try Laughter.”) First of all, everyone deserves to have fun without feeling guilty. Secondly, an improved mood gives you the energy and enthusiasm to do all the tasks involved in finding a new job or career.
“Have Fun Outdoors for Little or No Money”
July 12, 2011 by John Manni & Doug Barton
The great outdoors is a wonderful place to find enjoyment, often without spending a lot or anything at all. The phrase “great outdoors” is generally reserved for places such as national parks or exotic locales that provide high adventure, but we’d like to expand the definition to include any place that’s not indoors. Why? Because there’s so much to observe and enjoy in our own neighborhoods and backyards that frequently goes undiscovered.
The next time you take a walk, do it with a purpose. Notice the different styles of architecture in the houses and buildings. Think about what and why you like or dislike what you see. Notice how appearances have changed in the time you’ve been in an area. Make note of color schemes you might like to use some day. Do some research on trees and birds native to your state. See how many you can identify in your neighborhood or nearby park.
Instead of driving or taking public transportation for errands, go by foot or bicycle. If you don’t already have a bike, look for one at a yard sale. Adult bicycles can readily be found for $25 or less. Maybe you have a neighbor who wouldn’t mind, or might actually appreciate, your taking their dog for a walk from time to time. Use some of your free time to take care of easy things around the house like weeding flowerbeds, making simple repairs, or painting a fence. Find less expensive ways to enjoy hobbies. Going to a driving range or playing on a public course can be a good alternative to a more expensive country club.
Chances are you know some other folks who are unemployed. Why not suggest getting together for group walks or team sports? If necessary you can modify rules to play softball or basketball with less than a full complement of players.
Whatever you do, you’ll find the mental and physical benefits of enjoying the great outdoors can have positive effect on how you think and feel.