9 Ways to Alleviate Job Hunting Stress

Job hunting is an intense process and can create a lot of stress. If you're in need of new ideas on how to alleviate job hunting stress, read on!

Job searching can be intense, and it’s even more so during this difficult time. Whether you’ve been experiencing heightened levels of frustration and anxiety because you’re on a seemingly endless full-time job hunt, or are juggling part-time work and school, we’d like to help! Here are 9 simple tips that you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle to ease the pressure.

1. Do some breathing exercises

Did you know that you may be breathing incorrectly?

Take a quick moment to observe the way you inhale and exhale — if your breaths are too quick and shallow, it’s time to change that! Deep and intentional breaths help lower anxiety and stress levels[i], and there are simple breathing exercises you can try when you feel a little stressed out. These include the belly breathing exercise, the roll breathing exercise and the morning breathing exercise; why not give them a try and see if you feel better after?

2. Go easy on caffeinated drinks

Rooibos, or red bush tea, is a caffeine-free herbal tea that tastes nutty and sweet.

While tea or coffee will help you stay focused and alert as you read job postings, or revise your resume, overconsuming caffeinated drinks may cause adverse side effects. These range from headaches and insomnia, to digestion issues.

A study has also found that caffeine can affect sleep if consumed six hours before bedtime[ii], so avoid reaching for a cup of Joe in the evenings to prevent yourself from feeling tired and overwhelmed the next day. If you cannot go without either beverage for long, consider alternating each cup with tisanes or decaffeinated coffee.

3. Try some aromatherapy

Never underestimate the power of scent on one’s mood.

It’s a well-known fact that the smell of lavender has calming properties. Try brewing some lavender tea and taking in the scent before every sip, or placing some dried lavender potpourri in your room. If you don’t fancy lavender, search out other scents like geranium or chamomile.

Alternatively, break out that fancy candle you’ve been saving for special days. Job hunting is hard and you deserve to treat yourself a little.

4. Splash cold water on your face

Switch on the tap, and splash some cold water onto your face when you feel anxiousness and nerves building up! This helps to slow down your heart rate, due to what’s known as the ‘mammalian diving reflex’[iii], restoring some clarity to your racing mind.

5. Take a Power Nap

Are you sleeping enough? Insufficient rest could be adding on to your feelings of irritability and stress. If you can’t get seven to nine hours of sleep daily, as recommended for adults by health experts, try taking power naps (lasting no more than twenty minutes) in between your job search.

Pop a cooling eye mask on for enhanced results!

6. Tidy up your Workspace

Photo by XPS on Unsplash

Research has found that clutter affects our general wellbeing and may even cause us to procrastinate[iv].

If you don’t have the time to do a complete tidy-up, you can still declutter a little at a time. When you need a break from your job search, take ten minutes off to toss out old receipts or reorganise your notes. Your mind and workspace will feel a bit more organized, and you may even feel more productive and motivated!

7. Go for a Quick Walk

Exercise has always been known to be a great mood booster, so leave your computer for a change of scenery and some fresh air. Walking amongst nature, or an urban green space like the Botanic Gardens will help with stress and mental fatigue. Try brisk walking for an endorphins boost, and invite your friends for company.

8. Eat Healthy

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

It’s tempting to reach out for instant noodles or other quick meals before an incoming Zoom interview, but don’t forget your greens and protein. A healthy diet is key for stress management, keeping you energized and on top of your job search game.

Nuts and bananas are examples of good snack food to keep close by: the former is nutrient dense and rich in unsaturated fatty acids, as well as protein and fibre, while the latter are great sources of potassium and Vitamin C[v]!

9. Put on some background sound

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t listen to your favourite songs while job hunting at home if this helps you to relax, unless you find it hard to focus. If turning the volume down doesn’t help, switch to instrumental options such as jazz and lo-fi EDM (electronic dance music) instead! YouTube has many great playlists available.

If you prefer the sounds of rain or a busy café, there are playlists and free apps that let you soak in that atmosphere! There are even playlists for those who want to feel like they’re in Hogwarts on a rainy night.

In your opinion, what's the most important part of preparing for a walk-in interview in Dubai?

Final Thoughts

We believe you’re doing your best and would like to give you a virtual pat on the back! As you continue your search, don’t forget to look after your physical and mental wellbeing too. We hope that you’ll find these tips useful and wish you all the best in your job search!


This article is a contribution from Digital Senior. Visit their website for more articles on tertiary education, lifelong learning, and career advice!

[i] https://www.cbc.ca/life/wellness/from-fight-or-flight-to-rest-and-digest-how-to-reset-your-nervous-system-with-the-breath-1.4485695

[ii] https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/10.5664/jcsm.3170

[iii] https://www.bustle.com/p/what-is-mammalian-diving-response-this-hack-for-calming-anxiety-actually-works-9044165

[iv] https://hbr.org/2019/03/the-case-for-finally-cleaning-your-desk

[v] https://www.healthxchange.sg/food-nutrition/food-tips/good-reasons-eat-banana-today

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology. Read more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeberard/