Rest and Soul Care Habits for Stressful Job Transitions
Whether you stepped down from your position or experienced the shock of suddenly losing it, job searching brings stress in a variety of ways. Looking for employment stirs up a rush of excitement in one moment and a deep sense of fear and insecurity in the next. The uncertainty and constant rollercoaster of emotions and opportunities has the capability of sucking all the joy and hope out of an individual. During stressful seasons God uses prayer, Scripture, and community to bring peace. However, it is also vital to remember that He created you as a spiritual being with a physical body. How you treat your body and respond to your emotions directly affects your spirituality. One of the most powerful tools to combat job search anxiety is to engage in physical activities, create spiritual rhythms, and grow in emotional awareness.
Here are a few ways to care for your soul and find rest during the season of looking for a job:
Move your body
Though it may sound unrelated, exercising is one of the best ways to help you relax. With hours of scrolling to find a job and more hours to apply, searching for a job requires substantial mental focus and stamina. Blocking out time to switch from using your mind to activating your body will only help you feel more empowered and focused to continue your job search.
Looking for a job can trigger a host of emotions and mental blocks. Suddenly losing a job or moving on from the familiarity of a position can bring about overwhelming depression and anxiety. Working out is just one of many ways to find rest and relief when you are feeling overwhelmed. The Mayo Clinic shares that “regular exercise can increase self-confidence, improve your mood, help you relax, and lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety” (Mayo Clinic). In a season of heightened stress, it is vital for you to take time to care for your body because it directly affects your emotions and mindset. As you seek ways to find rest, don’t overlook the power of moving your body.
Engage with Friends and Family
When you are in the thick of applying for a new job, there is a very real pressure to stay isolated and focus solely on finding new employment. However, after a few days of consistently sending in applications, you may find yourself discouraged and frustrated that nothing is working out the way you hoped. In those moments alone, the enemy seeks to distort your perception. Without the support of community, it is very difficult to fight against lies and remain hopeful. The presence of friends and family is vital because they can help point you to the truth and be a place of rest and fun.
Lean into your community and be bold enough to share the difficult aspects of your job search. Though it may be difficult, make an effort to be honest about where you are and let other people into your season. Feeling heard and seen is so powerful and can bring immense peace to your soul.
In the same vein, God also uses laughter to provide relief and bring healing. In Proverbs God reveals that “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength” (Proverbs 17:22 NLT). It’s very easy to feel weighed down by the pressure of your transition and never allow yourself to laugh or enjoy being with others. Simply being in a room with laughter and fun, however, can do wonders for your soul. Make an effort to engage with people who bring joy and watch how God will use it to steady your soul.
Get alone with God
No matter how consistently you work out or how many gatherings you attend with friends, if you are not closely connected to God, your soul will not find the rest it needs.
Be intentional to spend time in God’s presence before you start your day of applying for jobs. Take time to be quiet with God, and listen to how He is directing you. He wants to supply you with wisdom and insight so that you don’t expend all your energy applying for jobs that won’t lead anywhere.
Share your frustrations and fears with the Lord as you walk through your transition. He is not surprised or offended by your emotions. Instead, He wants to engage with you in the midst of your thoughts, cover you with compassion, and lead you to peace. If you bury them, you may begin to feel like a shell of who you really are and sense the added tension of unattended hurt. If it is hard for you to be honest with God, consider journaling your thoughts. God will be faithful to meet you where you are and fill you with rest in His presence.
While all of these points have the capability to stimulate soul care, every person was created differently. It is vital that you take time to discover how you are wired and what activities bring your soul the most rest. Turn to God and ask Him to show you how to rest. He is your Creator and He knows exactly what will bring your soul the most peace. True and effective soul care can only take place as you press into the Holy Spirit and ask Him to guide you every step of the way. God wants to help you in the process of applying for jobs and reveal the most effective avenues for you to engage in soul care.