Hunting for a new job can feel isolating, especially after you've been at it for a couple of months and you just received another rejection email.
The tendency for is for you to feel like there is something wrong with you.
Like you're not good enough.
It's a vicious cycle where each rejection can make you feel worse and worse to the point where you aren't effectively moving towards your goals anymore. You're just stuck in the circle of unworthiness.
So let's change that, right?
To do that, I want to introduce Dr. Gary Chapman a behavioral psychologist and love expert. In his book The 5 Love languages, Chapman explores the 5 ways that we give and receive love. Each of us give and receive love differently, and knowing what aligns with you can be incredibly helpful for your mental health.
The five love languages are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
Let's explore the 5 ways you can use love languages to help you find more compassion for yourself as you navigate a challenging job search. In general you will align more with one of the different love languages (take a quiz here)
1. Words of Affirmation: Think Self-Love
Words of affirmation are incredibly powerful and can help us to break through the constant broken record of negative thoughts. Yes, those thoughts that just said something mean to you right now!
If you align with words of affirmation as your love language, you appreciate the spoke expression of love. Here are some things you can do for yourself:
- Practice daily affirmations. When you wake up in the morning think to yourself "Today is going to be a good day, somehow."
- Keep a journal to reflect and write what you are feeling. Release any negative thoughts on the paper - and choose more empowering thoughts instead.
- Actively practice positive self-affect where you are kind to yourself after you do something that aligns with your goals or values. Did you just submit another job application, say to yourself "you got this, you just made progress towards your goal!"
2. Acts of Service
You might enjoy it when your partner or friend does a kind act to you. Maybe they bring you a coffee on your worst day ever or offer you a ride home and it lit up your day. Fo you, actions speak louder than words. So, if you're having a particularly challenging day, try the following.
- Take a self-care day. Do activities that fill your cup. This could be a hobby you enjoy or spending time in nature.
- Prioritize your needs. It's okay to put yourself first and listen into your deeper needs. What would feel good to you right now?
- Eat nourishing foods. Prepare yourself healthy meal for yourself, or better yet go out to your favorite restaurant.
3. Quality Time
If your love language is quality time, you love undivided attention. You appreciate it most when your partner or friend goes out of the way to spend time with you in the present moment.
And you deserve some quality time with yourself too, especially if you're feeling overwhelmed or challenged by the job search.
- Practice mindfulness through meditation. Just start with a minute of feeling your breath rising and falling if you're new to the practice. Be present with yourself and the feelings in your body.
- Create more me-time by doing what you love doing. This could be listening to music, playing games, or working on cars.
- Sleep adequately. Quality can be incredibly helpful to feel your best and recover when you've have had a tough day. If you're interested to learn more about the power of sleep, you can check out Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker.
4. Gift Giving
You appreciate the act of receiving and giving gifts. Gifts, according to Dr. Chapman are visual symbols of love. For you, nothing says “I love you” like a thoughtful gift, no matter how small it is.
If your love language is gift-giving, you might consider doing these:
- Treat yourself to something special after you complete a goal. After all, you deserve it :)
- Take some time to travel to a new place, even if it's just a place you haven't been nearby your house. Or perhaps it's the dream destination you've always wanted to visit.
5. Physical Touch
Physical touch is all about nonverbal expressions of care — touching, intimacy, and the desire to be seen. Intimacy with other people releases oxytocin, the “happiness” hormone. If you appreciate physical touch:
- Get yourself a massage! Enough said.
- Take time to exercise and get in touch with your physical body. Nothing makes me release stress than a big workout.
- Create a wellness plan. What 3 things could you do in your life to improve your mental, physical, and spiritual health? Write them down and see how you can integrate them in your daily life.
Try out a few of these self-love suggestions and see the difference it will make in self-perception and confidence as you navigate your job search and career.
Remember, love starts with befriending yourself. It’s a lifetime journey! Are you ready for the ride?