7 productive ways you can stop yourself going stir-crazy while job hunting

So you’re a recent graduate still searching for that all-important first job, or perhaps you’re just in between roles at the moment? Either way, January could be even worse for you than ever before; with the post-Christmas blues, not to mention the debt you might have incurred in the run up to the holidays, unemployment can really dampen the “new year, new me” vibes.

But what if there were a fun and interesting way to become more employable, whilst still job-hunting and looking after yourself too? Lizzi Hart of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau has 10 such ways to help you survive being an unemployed job-hunter

Learn to code

Whether you're interested in tech or not, being able to write and/or comprehend even the most basic of programming languages is a must-have for 2016. Head to the various online coding tutorial websites, such as CodeAcademy.com or w3schools.com, and start with the basics (HTML and CSS). Just 30 minutes a day will be enough, but you can complete each course as and when you have the time. After you've covered the basics, research what kinds of programming skills would be seen favourably within any areas of work you're interested in, and give them a go!

Pick up a new (or old) language

Why not try your hand at French?

If you haven't downloaded Duolingo yet, where have you been? The free language learning app is easy to use and you can pick up a language from any point you wish. Plus, it's available on both mobile and desktop, and offers over 20 languages for English speakers to learn (which includes Klingon, too!). European languages (and others too) are often very desirable within graduate recruitment, so don't think of improving your language skills as a 'waste' because they could lead to amazing new opportunities.

Start a blog

Are you passionate about something, but don't know how to vocalise it? Do you want to connect to others that feel the same way? Or perhaps you just want to express yourself anonymously -- it's all possible, you just need to start writing. It's easy to set up through either WordPress, Blogger, Blogspot, Tumblr and many more. Not only will you improve your writing skills through practise, you might also reach people that you'd never imagined. You might even be able to use your newly found coding knowledge to practise your web editing skills, too.

Try your hand at cooking


Cooking is therapeutic, incredibly useful and a wonderful thing to share with the people you care about. Get started on YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram, by searching for your favourite ingredients/recipes. Yes, cooking can be stressful at times, but through practise you will quickly be able to multi-task and create some amazing -- and delicious -- meals. If your day of job-hunting yields nothing but a delicious meal, that is still an achievement to be proud of.

Get out the house and go for a walk or a drive

Get out of the house; out of the harsh blanket of artificial light, and into the world. No matter how 'airy-fairy' this sounds, embracing the outdoors is very beneficial, especially if you have no strict agenda. Go for a walk, by yourself, with your friends or a partner -- take a picnic to save money, or pop to the pub for a quick rewarding drink. If you're feeling adventurous, arrange a road trip to somewhere you've never been before and explore to your heart's content; your mind will be grateful for the break and inspiration.

Swap the duvet for the trainers and do some exercise

Getty/Joe Raedle
Yoga instructor Sarah Henry leads a class during a paddleboard yoga session at Adventure Sports Miami on July 10, 2011 in Miami, Florida.

You know you need to do it, yet the hardest part of exercise is actually taking that first step. If you've only ever been part of a gym, and hated every second of it, try taking some classes in martial arts, swimming, dancing, or yoga. Once you find something you enjoy doing, you'll be more encouraged to do it often. If you go with someone, you'll have even more chances of this habit continuing past January.

Be a tourist for the day

Go on an adventure.

Do you sometimes feel too grounded in a place that you couldn't be seen dead in the local museum? Well, stop that thought right now. On your own, or with company, research what your local scene has to offer in terms of free/cheap things to do… and go! You won't become instantly employable because you've seen an original Picasso, but you'll be doing yourself a favour by getting out of the house and learning more about the world.

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