We get it. The job search can be stressful. In this day and age there are fewer things more important than making sure you can provide for yourself and for your family. That’s why we tend to get nervous even when we get the good news that someone wants to interview us. If you’re a highly-qualified professional, the stress can be even greater, because the more specific your skill set, the more difficult it can be to find placement.
However, it’s incredibly important to maintain a sense of calm during the interview process as well as the days leading up to it. That way, when you step in the door, you’ll be putting your best foot forward and making a fantastic impression.
Here’s some tips on how to get – and stay – calm.
1. Pay attention to your stress levels. Stress can affect you physically, leading to poor sleep and even to illness. The signs can be subtle, so start being aware of them.
2. Focus on being present in your body. During a job search and pre-interview, it’s easy to get on a mental rollercoaster, and once on that ride, it can be hard to disembark. One of the most effective ways, however, is taking a few minutes to become re-centered in your body. Find a quiet place to sit down, and concentrate on feeling the seat beneath you. Then take long, deep breaths from your diaphragm; try inhaling through your nose for a count of four, holding for two, and exhaling through your mouth for seven. Exhaling longer than you inhale deepens your breathing, which helps calm your nervous system.
3. Get up and move! It may seem like the last thing you want to do, but studies have proven that exercise calms the mind. It also helps you get tired, so you’re more likely to get a much-needed decent night’s sleep.
4. Avoid sugary treats. Sure, we all want to eat our feelings sometimes, but remember that sweets can make you feel jittery – the last thing you want to feel when you’re already stressed out. Instead, go for something protein-packed. Still got a chocolate craving? Try dark chocolate made with low-glycemic sweeteners.
5. Stay connected with loved ones. Call your best friend, a sibling, or a parent and just chat. It’s important to take the time to talk with people who care about you. It’ll make you feel better right away, and less alone.
6. Go outside. It’s easy to feel stressed out and overwhelmed if you’ve been chained to your desk or laptop all day, doing research for an upcoming interview or updating your resume and cover letter. It’s not a waste of time- in fact, it’ll improve your mood, give you energy, and refresh your outlook on life so you’ll be ready to tackle whatever challenges are ahead.