Five Tips for Having a Happy Holiday When You’re Unemployed

The holidays should be a time for joy and happiness, but if you’re unemployed, having a happy holiday can be difficult. When your cash flow isn’t flowing and you feel like you’re supposed to be buying gifts, it’s hard to be happy. But if you shift your focus to what you do have instead of what you don’t, you’ll find your mood start to shift as well.

Here are a few great ways to have a happy holiday when you’re unemployed:

1. Do something for someone else

Doing something nice for someone in need will lift your spirits as well as theirs. Find a way to give back in your community by volunteering your time. Serve meals at a soup kitchen or volunteer with Meals-On-Wheels to take meals to sick or elderly people who can’t get out. Visit a nursing home and read or play games with the residents who don’t get many visitors. Volunteer at the local animal shelter. Furry friends are always happy to see you and make you feel good.

2. Make your gifts more genuine

Instead of spending money on things your friends and family don’t really need anyway, give a gift that money can’t buy. Spend some quality time together. Not only will your family be grateful for the time you spend with them, but being around the people you love will lift your spirits. You can even give the gift of time with gift certificates for raking leaves, washing the car, shoveling snow, or assembling the new toy that arrived in a hundred pieces with directions no one can understand.

3. Make gifts by hand

Body polishes, scented candles, baked goods, and Christmas ornaments can all be made by hand right in your kitchen with very few ingredients. In fact, you may have most of what you need already in your pantry. A little time on Pinterest can help you find easy DIY gifts that you can make for just a couple of dollars.

4. Resist temptation

The closer we get to Christmas, the more you will see retailers trying to entice you with good deals. Whatever you do, do NOT go into debt for holiday shopping. Without knowing exactly when you’ll see a paycheck again, going deeper into debt is a recipe for trouble. Avoid the malls and retail stores so you’re not tempted to spend money you don’t have.

5. Keep making connections

Although finding a new job around the holidays can be difficult because most companies aren’t hiring, making connections now can put you in the position to hear about a new job after the holidays. Go to networking events, make connections on LinkedIn, reach out to your contacts, and stay productive. Knowing that you’re doing something, anything, to find a new job will help you to stay positive about your prospects.

Keeping your spirits up around the holiday season can be a job in itself, especially if you’re unemployed. But do your best to stay positive; take some time for self-care, and do something nice for someone else. In just a few weeks, the holiday season will pass and you’ll be back on your path of finding a great job.

Emilie is the brains, the brawn, and the beauty behind She Does Better, inspiring millennial women to live financially, physically, and professionally fit lives. She writes about overcoming debt, while balancing trying to eat healthy, stay fit, and have a little fun along the way. Read more about her journey here.

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