At the end of June 2017, I left my full time job to move halfway across the world with my husband. The plan was for me to take a few months off to focus on my other interests (reading, watching documentaries and binge watching shows I have always wanted to watch but never had the time) and then to start my CIMA qualification. I thought it would be convenient for me to eat healthily and exercise on a daily basis simply because I had all the free time with only household chores and cooking to do. What I expected, and what actually ended up happening were two completely different things.
The first thing I noticed was that my sleeping habits changed. I would stay up most of the night and slept most of the day, and while there was nothing wrong with this if I had been productive while I was awake, I preferred to lay down and relax while I was awake and found that not only had I started to gain weight at an alarming rate, I was also constantly out of breath just by doing the smallest of tasks. Grocery shopping was fast becoming a nightmare simply because I had to walk around to find the items on my list.
The second thing I noticed was that my memory wasn’t what it used to be when I was still employed. When I was working, I constantly had to remember figures and account codes (I worked in finance) and the memory went beyond just my day job, it was easier for me to remember personal details, appointments, and things that people mentioned to me. I have hardly ever had to take notes and write anything in my diary in order to remember it.
The third thing that happened was that I realised I had no self discipline at all. Working full time provided a structured routine where for a particular part of my day I was at work, after work, my priorities were making dinner then the rest of the evening was dedicated to watching TV, studying, or pursuing other interests. When I left my job, my routine fell apart and it was hard to fill the time with meaningful interactions or activities.
As someone who has always been able to adapt to new and difficult situations, leaving the stability of my job has affected me in a way I had not expected. What made things worse is that I struggled to make friends, and began to be more negatively affected by criticism than ever before. It did not take much to upset me and my life spiralled into a darkness that I had never experienced before.
With my weight skyrocketing, my confidence sinking down into the gutter, and my will to do anything apart from binge watch the same shows on Netflix and eat all the Nutella my heart desired, I felt as though a change was needed.
The scary part is that I have still not fully adapted to being unemployed (I will be changing that soon) but I have made huge changes in my life that has improved my life in extraordinary ways. I now have a set schedule with regards to what time I wake up, I have split the household chores over the week so I don’t have to spend an entire day cleaning each week, and the bulk of my day is spent working on either my blog or my qualification. I have also added exercise every morning to my routine. As I started implementing this and focusing on things that I normally would if I was employed, my memory has slowly begun to improve (simply because of all the practice) and I am able to focus on tasks for a longer period of time. While my self-discipline is still a little bit out of control, I do have things that have to be done everyday without fail which is slowly strengthening the habit of controlling my impulses to do unnecessary things everyday. I look forward to completing my daily tasks every day and I am excited to see how my life will change once I am back in the workforce.
Have you been unemployed for any period of time? How did you adjust to having free time?
Let me know in the comments below.
-The Uninspired Blogger