The Hunemployment Diaries: realistic tips for staying sane

If you believe everything you see on social media – and trust me, you shouldn’t – it seems everyone has become a quarantine guru. If I see that quote about how you should come out of isolation with a new skill or you’ve wasted it ONE MORE TIME, I might explode. Piss offffff! If you come out of quarantine alive and sane, you’ve completed it mate. Obviously, not being able to work has a negative impact on sanity levels, so here’s some realistic tips for the unemployed/self employed/furlough gang: it’s all about doing your best.

Routine is key babes

Buuuuuut… routine doesn’t mean you have to get up at 6am for government-sanctioned exercise before making a disgusting kale smoothie for breakfast. If you like doing that then crack on, but don’t worry if you don’t… this isn’t bootcamp! Simple things like making sure you stick to your hair wash schedule; eating three meals a day, and trying to get up at a reasonable time; all play a key role in retaining some normality whilst unemployed and in a global health crisis. And drink water.

Use your brain

Unemployment sort of feels like the end of the Easter holidays, when after 10 days of watching TV and sleeping in til lunchtime, you realise maybe you should use your brain a bit. We’ve got nothing but time, so read a book; make a new recipe; play a strategic game (does the Sims count? I think so). One of my favourite things to do is general knowledge quizzes, which you can find on (not an ad, not spon, just love general knowledge). At a pinch, watching The Chase counts as working your brain (sort of…).

Ask yourself… WWAHD (what would Anne Hegarty do)?

Don’t compare yourself to others

It might seem like Kerry who you went to school with has got it nailed because she’s posting daily work out videos, but she might be less virtuous in other areas (e.g. hasn’t eaten any vegetables since BoJo ordered us to stay home). Likewise Becky might be smashing her side hustle and “earning loads of money from home” like those hoax pyramid scheme emails claim, but what you can’t tell from social media is that her house is disgustangly dirty. People only post the good, so if you’re scrolling and feeling a bit defeated, just remember no one’s perfect. Put ya bleedin’ phone down!

Stop watching the news (sorry science, sorry logic)

I didn’t have myself down as the ‘burying my head in the sand during a global pandemic’ type, but as it turns out – I really, really am. Despite spending most hours at my previous job listening to; reading; and trying to get featured in the press, one of the things that’s been crucial to preserving my sanity is to not watch or listen to the news – otherwise I just get obsessed. I realise this is isn’t for everyone, so consider limiting the amount you watch it. You don’t need to listen to the news every hour.

Facetime ya mum/dad/partner/nan/friends/colleagues

We are very lucky (#blessed, as some might say) to be living in a time where we can see the people we love even if we’re not physically near them. If you’re feeling fed up, just Facetime someone. This has been key to me not having a breakdown these past few weeks!

Laugh as much as you can

As the saying goes, “love freely, live once, laugh often” – or words to that effect. My number one piece of advice is to laugh whenever you can, at whatever you want, as much as is possible. If you don’t laugh you might cry.

What are your tips for staying sane while unemployed? Let me know in the comments.

Xoxo WBR

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