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How to deal with unemployment

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In these times, unemployment almost needs no introduction. In the UK and elsewhere, rates of joblessness have crept perceptibly higher, hovering around 8%, as of July 2010. While many bemoan the loss of a job and it's associated income, there is a bright side to the equation. In a world where time used to be thought of as money, we can regain our time to do the things we love and care about. What follows is a step-by step guide to enjoying your sudden time surplus.
Stop spending unnecessary money. If you've lived in the UK for any length of time you should have learned this critical life skill by now. In case you haven't, losing your primary income should be a strong reminder of what things are actually necessary to purchase, and those that are clearly not. Not to say you shouldn't enjoy yourself, rather, you should even more so than usual, just learn to decouple leisure from consumption.
Take long walks, explore your neighborhood. Walking, the original form of terrestrial transport, is (not counting the necessary nutrition) free. Go outside of your normal channels, take a look at the world around you, learn something new about the place you call home.
While wandering around, avoid purposelessness, learn the names of trees, birds and other animals, take note of what happens in the vicinity, observe how the world works, think and, most importantly, meet your neighbors, introduce yourself, revive the lost art of conversation. Make new friends and learn about your community.
Learn to work trade. You can't avoid needing the basic amenities. Learn to work trade, or time bank, with your new-found local community to trade your time for what you need. Start a community garden, learn to grow your own food, fix your own things, make a life out of what you have around you.
Do the things you thought you never had time to do. Paint a picture, catch up on your reading, learn to draw, design windmills, write a novel, fix the house, clean out the garage, closets, attic etc. Spend more time with your kids, or pets, or family...
By now you may be feeling the pinch. Sell off all of your unnecessary possessions. Having cleaned out excess stuff in your house, you should have plenty of junk that is someone else's treasure. As a simple rule of thumb, if you haven't used it in a year, you aren't going to use it, so - sell it!
Get scrappy, find part time work, pursue other degrees, certificates, educational opportunities.
Part time work and a network of friends can tide you over the rough times.
The ability to follow the above directions depends mostly on your mental state, and not on the objective functionality of the above-mentioned steps. Unemployment can really suck, getting out of the mental rut is a necessary step to finding the optimism that will get you back into the work force.


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