Self Care During a Job Search

A room with book shelves and a couch and a black woman sitting cross legged on the couch reading a book.

Written by Cara-Lea Suttie - Student and Graduate Employment & Yoga Teacher

Whether you are a student looking for a part time job to support you while you study, or you are a recent grad looking to start your career or you’re already into your career but looking to make a change – job searching is STRESSFUL. 

You put in hours of work making sure your resume looks good for each and every position you apply for, you network with friends, family and other connections, you attend job events like career fairs and speed networking... and then you have to face all the possible rejections.  Job hunting can do real damage to anyone’s self-confidence and self-esteem. 

Considering the stress and potential damage to your self-confidence, taking care of your well-being when you are job hunting is super important.

That leads us to the question – how do you do it? 

First, we need to acknowledge that there is no right or wrong way to do self-care.  What works well for one person may be completely wrong for another person. 

Next, we need to remember that there are different avenues (or pillars) of self-care.  They are mental, emotional, physical, environmental, spiritual, recreational and social ( and it is important to balance your self-care activities amongst all 7 when possible.

One last thing to consider before we dive into options for self-care activities is to remember that self-care isn’t selfish.  Self-care is an absolute necessity when we want to show potential employers how awesome we are. 

Here’s some ideas for you to try out to see if they work for you!!

  1. Colouring. According to the Mayo Clinic – colouring is great because it promotes mindfulness and it relieves stress by helping both your brain and body to relax.  It can even help you to learn to embrace imperfection in your life.  (
  2. Meditation. There are SO many benefits to meditation and SO many types of meditation out there that I can’t begin to list them all here.  The great news is that there are also a lot of sources for free guided meditations all over the internet.  Check out apps like InsightTimer and Calm, as well as YouTube to find great free or low-cost meditation options.
  3. Move your body.  Notice – I didn’t say “exercise”, I said move.   This can be anything from taking a leisurely walk, going for a swim, taking a yoga class or even blasting your favourite song and dancing in your bedroom. Just find a way to move your body that works well for you.
  4. Read for fun and don’t get snobby about it. If what you enjoy is a good comic book or graphic novel – go for it.  If you love a romance novel – go for it.  If science fiction brings you joy – go for it.  Read something that makes you feel good. 
  5. Cook or bake something you REALLY love.  When we are busy food can just become fuel, but food can also be about pleasure and taking care of yourself on a deeper level.  Taking the time to cook or bake something you really love, and then truly savour it as you eat it.
  6. Clean up your social media and email lists.  We get inundated with so much communication in the current climate and it can be a big help to clean it out once in a while.  Go through your social media and unfollow accounts that no longer suit you.  Go though your email and unsubscribe to any emails you really don’t need and never even look at. 

When it comes down to it, anything that brings you some sense of ease can be self-care.  For some people cleaning their house is self-care, for others it is engaging in some kind of play – LEGO, video games or a friends & family game night, and for others it is taking a bubble bath with a good book.   The important thing is to find what works for you and make the conscious choice to engage in those activities that support your well-being while you are on your job hunt. 

Remember, first and foremost – you are worthy of taking the time and making the effort to care for yourself, especially when you’re on the grind of job hunting!