How To Keep It Together When You’re Unemployed

How To Keep It Together When You're Unemployed

I’ve been unemployed for a few months now. What started as a rose colored ”funemployment” has slowly dissolved into plain old miserable unemployment. According to no one, I’ve been handling it pretty well. I’d like to share with you some tried and tested ways to stave off losing it completely should you find yourself in the same position as your boy here.

Warning: these only come into effect after the initial two weeks have worn off. If you leave your job/get laid off feel free to go on a bender, but no matter what you do after two weeks you’ll start to feel it. Trust me.


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Day Baseball

No better way to wipe away three hours than a nice daytime baseball game in the summer. Even if you’re not a fan of the home team, tickets will be cheaper because most people are at work. I started going with my neighbor Eddie from across the hall, and he’s really made me appreciate the finer aspects of the game.

Travel (Smart)

A myth of unemployment is that you can’t enjoy anything. That isn’t true – you have to try to maintain some positive energy in your life. So travel but be smart about it.

If you have a friend in another city that will let you crash for a few days, go visit them. If you have frequent flier miles, burn them. If not, book random, off-hour midweek flights like red eyes and ones with multiple connections to drive the price down. Weigh the costs of those flights vs. what you would spend staying in your hometown for the week. If the difference is only a few hundred dollars, do it. You’ll never have this type of free time on your hands again. If you’re ballsy enough to go international, go to a place with an insane exchange rate like Thailand.

Two Days On, One Day Off

There are only so many hours in the day you can dedicate to finding a new job. Here’s a challenge I like to do: I allow myself one day of being a total unproductive piece of shit then follow it up with two days filled with exercise, errands and job searching. It creates a system where I want to get everything done in those two days so I can look forward to the day spent on the couch being a waste of a human.


One of the plusses to this whole situation is that the gym will be empty during the day, allowing you free reign over all the machines and equipment for as long as you want. Eddie tags along and spots me while I lift and we motivate each other to push a little harder. If you’re not a gym person, sign up for some trial yoga classes with all the stay at home moms. Anything to get you out of the house and sweating.

I’ve even turned running errands into exercising. If I have to pick up a few things from the grocery store or drop something at UPS, I’ll walk instead of drive. Walking is a surprisingly effective workout if you go more than a mile and mix in some hills.

Keep Regular Hours

As tempting as it might be to stay up all night or sleep in all day, don’t. Maintain a semblance of structure to keep yourself rested and your mind sharp. I try not to sleep in past 8:00 a.m. and get to bed every night by 12:30. Occasionally if I can’t sleep, I’ll knock on Eddie’s door and he and I will throw on a music documentary on Netflix. But try to limit evenings like this as they’ll throw you off your routine.

Eat Healthy

Another temptation will be to gorge on cheap food due to your limited funds and unlimited time. I’m no expert on weight loss, but the only way I’ve been able to remain remotely healthy these past few months is by having a salad every single day. If you have a big sandwich or burrito for lunch, make a salad for dinner. If you have a salad for lunch, have a piece of pork for dinner. This way you’re limiting yourself while simultaneously treating yourself.

Try Writing

The best thing about the world we now live in is that if you want to do something, you can just give it a shot. Whether it’s journaling, writing jokes or funny stories for a post college themed satire website, you have all the power in the world at your fingertips. Eddie and I have been working on a new video series at his apartment that I can’t wait to show the world.


When most people get home from their day jobs, the last thing they want to do is clean their apartment/house. Tidy up the kitchen and bedroom as you move about your day so that you’re never spending an exorbitant amount of time cleaning, but you’re keeping your living space relatively neat. This scores me big points with the Capital R Roommate – in fact she’s on her way home right now.

Get a Job

Guys the Capital R Roommate just got home and she said our building superintendent told her I’ve been standing in the janitors closet across the hall from our unit and talking out loud to myself all day. She’s checking me into a wellness facility and said she’s moving out at the end of the month.

Somebody please hire me.


This week on Don’t Take It From Us, fellow PGP writer Taylor Stovall joins Jenna Crowley and I as we chat about horrible opening lines on dating apps and “having no game” as the game you have. We also discuss what to do when your ex blocks you on social media and review the dating profile of an actual dairy farmer!.Enjoy!

Do you have a dating or relationship question you want answered on the pod? Make sure you send our way! New eps will be released every Wednesday, so check it out on Soundcloud below or on iTunes!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here for a first look at the dating profiles we’re grading and all sorts of content throughout the week!

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JR Hickey

Stand up comedian and writer from Chicago who now resides on the West Coast. JR can be seen performing at Cobbs Comedy Club in San Francisco and Zanies Comedy Clubs in Chicago. His work has been published in the Chicago Tribune and recently he was a part of SF Sketchfest 2015. JR's also the host of the PGP dating podcast Don't Take It From Us. He loves you very, very much.

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