The Importance of Mental Health Care During a Long-Term Job Search

Updated: March 3, 2023
by TJ Salvatore

Searching for a job when you are jobless is no fun. It's a daunting and exhausting process. The constant rejections, long hours of browsing through job boards, and the uncertainty that comes with it all can take a toll on your mental health. Yet, many of us underestimate just how important it is to prioritize our well-being during this period. In fact, taking care of your mental health could make all the difference when it comes to landing your dream job.

So today I'm going to revisit my experience; why mental health care is crucial during a long-term job search and what steps I took to ensure that I was looking after myself along the way.

The Importance of Mental Health Care During a Long-Term Job Search

The Mental Health Toll Of A Long-Term Job Search

When I had no job for 6 months, my job search completely took a toll on my mental health. The constant questioning myself, the financial insecurity, and the fear of not being able to find a job for years all seemed to lead to anxiety, depression, and all sorts of problems.

I tried a few methods to manage my sanity so that I could better handle any challenges that came up in life. Here are the things I think you can try.

Practice Self-Care

I made sure to practice self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, and exercising regularly, when I got up every morning and before going to bed every night, I was telling myself to stay healthy physically.

I also regularly asked myself what could bring me joy (apart from finding a job.)

So don't beat yourself up. A long-term job search is not a reflection of your worth as a person.

Take Breaks

I took some time for myself from time to time to focus on the positive. I allowed myself to take a break from stressful situations, even if it was only for five minutes. When you're feeling overwhelmed, take some time for yourself - go for a walk, read your favorite book, or watch a movie.


I meditated and practiced mindfulness techniques to help clear my head of worries and anxieties.

Meditation doesn't have to be something complicated. You can just sit down, close your eyes, take deep breaths and feel calm for a few minutes every day. 

Stay Connected

Social support is crucial during difficult times. Luckily, I had some older and more experienced friends that I can ask for advice. Make sure to stay in touch with family and friends, and join supportive online communities if you need extra help. But don't rely on them - nobody wants to hear someone constantly complain but never take action. Show your positive side to them.

Seek Professional Help

Seek professional help if you really think your mind is not in the right place - I'll talk about it later. If you're struggling to cope with the stress of a long-term job search, talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you manage your anxiety and depression.

As a result of implementing these practices regularly, I was able to keep my mental health healthy and better deal with life's challenges.

The Importance Of A Support Network

Good Support

Make sure to have a support network in place to help you through the tough times. Living on your own can be a very rewarding experience, but remember that no one can survive without connecting with other people.

Studies have shown that social connection is an essential part of a healthy life, providing emotional and physical benefits such as improved mental health and increased longevity. 

Taking time to reach out to loved ones helps us feel supported, appreciated, and empowered; so don’t forget how valuable these connections truly are.

Your support network will provide emotional support and help you stay motivated during your job search. They can also offer practical advice and assistance, such as helping you edit your resume or providing leads on job openings.

Having a strong support network is essential for maintaining your mental health during a long-term job search. These people can help you weather the storm and come out the other side stronger than ever.

  • Talk to your doctor. Your doctor can provide you with information about mental health resources in your area. 
  • Contact a mental health hotline. Hotlines can provide you with information about local mental health resources and support services. 
  • Search the internet for mental health resources. Many websites offer information about mental health care and support services.
  • Reach out to family and friends for support. Sometimes talking to someone who understands what you are going through can be helpful.
  • (If you can afford it or your insurance covers it) Seek out professional help. If you feel like you need professional assistance, many therapists and counselors can help you deal with your mental health issues.

Start Your Own Online Business

Online Business

Did I find a job in the end? No, I didn't have to. Because I decided to make some extra income online by providing my own design and writing services. Soon I made just enough money so I no longer had to look for an employer. If I can do it, you can do it too.

Starting a side hustle while searching for a job is an excellent way to stay productive, boost your income and gain valuable skills. A side hustle can help you bridge the gap between jobs by providing extra income while helping you become more marketable in the job search process. 

Plus, it gives you something tangible to put on applications or resumes that demonstrate initiative and knowledge in a certain area of expertise. Whether it's freelancing, starting an online business or taking on consulting projects - having a side hustle shows potential employers that not only are you capable but also motivated and responsible.

And if you like me, if your business successfully takes off, you may not have to work for someone else again.

Sell Your Skills

I started my journey as an entrepreneur by selling my design skills on Fiverr. This was a great way for me to start making money, and I gradually saw the potential of this platform for generating income.

Not only did I get to make money by providing services that others needed, but Fiverr also enabled me to network with new clients and build relationships in the process. I think I was able to grow my business beyond what I had initially expected when first starting out on Fiverr.

Advertising your skills can be a time-consuming task, but it is worth the effort in the long run. Learning how to showcase your talents will ensure that you get noticed by potential employers or clients. Once you have made yourself visible, people will start to recognize your work, leading to an influx of gig orders for projects related to your expertise.

Through freelancing side hustles such as freelancing, the extra income will help you stay afloat financially in between jobs and allow you to explore new areas that may lead you into more lucrative long-term opportunities.

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Recommended Alternative

Affiliate marketing is another way to start online that requires minimal effort and resources. It's easy to begin, as all you need to do is sign up with an affiliate program, choose products you would like to promote, and then use your website or YouTube video to drive traffic towards those offers. This doesn’t mean you can make money easily, but it’s easy to start.

Personally, I prefer to sell my skills online as opposed to affiliate marketing because it allows me more control over the service that I'm offering and puts more responsibility on my shoulders. 

But still, you can choose the type of products you want to recommend. What is available in affiliate marketing will also give you a level of autonomy. It requires less responsibility because there’s little direct customer interaction.

Also, if you find a full-time job elsewhere, you can continue affiliate marketing on the side. I think this makes it a great option for those who want extra income without having to dedicate too much time and energy to managing investments or other forms of business ownership.

Make Money To Stay Positive

Financial security can have a significant impact on mental health. When you feel secure financially, it can reduce stress and anxiety, allowing for improved overall mental wellness. Having a side hustle is an excellent way to supplement your income and create additional financial stability.

This will give you the opportunity to become more independent and confident in yourself, leading to an overall positive outlook on life. Investing time and energy into something that provides financial reward can be incredibly empowering, ultimately providing both emotional and economic benefits. So keep yourself open-minded and believe that you can do anything. Your skills will be money's worth for someone else!


Long-term job searches can be an incredibly stressful and often demoralizing experience, so it is important to prioritize your mental health care during this process. Taking the time to focus on self-care, maintaining a positive attitude and finding ways to manage stress are all key components of successful long-term job search strategies. Furthermore, seeking out professional help when needed can provide invaluable insight into managing your emotions and improving your overall well-being during this challenging time in life.

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About the Author

A freelancer. A nomad. An LGBTQ and animal rights activist. Love meeting new people, exploring new styles of living, new technologies and gadgets, new ways of making money.

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  1. Thank you for your wonderful posts! I always learn something new from reading them, and being exposed to a different viewpoint is so refreshing. The mental health of myself is very important for me when I am seeking a new job. Your perspectives are very helpful to me, thank you for sharing them with me.

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