It’s inevitable that a suddenly unemployed person will have blue days. This is not to be confused with clinical depression, which is a series of deeply grim days that require medical attention. Blue days for the unemployed are the same as blue days for the employed, with the exception of having someone to share them. If you can remember, blue days at “work” were usually accompanied by statements to co-workers like, “Haven’t you just about had the shits of this place?” Or, “I could have taught school, but nooooo…. I had to come here!” Or, “Jeez, I can’t believe what a total moron that guy is!”
Blue days for the unemployed just don’t have the rebound statements from another person to affirm your feelings.
Ten things to avoid absolutely on blue days:
1. Playing Bonnie Raitt’s rendition of Randy Newman’s song “Guilty.”
2. Watching Bill Gates being interviewed.
3. Comparing your last pay stub with the unemployment check.
4. Shopping for anything.
5. Watching any talk show on TV, especially things like “The People’s Court” (Why on earth would you like to see other miserable people air their problems while you have yours to keep you company?)
6. Drinking anything stronger than coffee.
7. Calling or e-mailing former co-workers to “see what’s happening.”
8. Calling or e-mailing any personnel agency to “just touch base” and ask why you haven’t heard from them lately.
9. Spending any time wondering why it was you, the hard working and loyal employee, who was “downsized” and not that guy down the hall who always seemed to have the solitaire game up on the screen of his pc.
10. Taking yourself too seriously.
Ten things to do on blue days:
1. Take a walk. It gets you out of the house and changes your perspective (those of you in high crime areas may consider getting a treadmill and turning on the Nature Channel).
2. Do a load of laundry (yes, I know it’s mindless but it makes you feel as though you accomplished something).
3. Clean out a closet or your dresser (same effect as #2).
4. Take the unwanted clothing that you have removed from the closet or dresser to the Salvation Army or Goodwill and donating it (you’ll feel better and they give you a receipt for the items which you can use as a tax deduction – if you ever have an income again).
5. Write notes to your favorite humans telling them that you love them.
6. Rearrange the furniture. (Your wife/husband/significant other will probably want you to return it to its original state, but you’ll feel as though you made a difference in your world that day!)
7. Make a really nifty dinner.
8. Change the message on your answering machine to reflect an upbeat personality (adding something like calypso music to the background might make it sound even better).
9. Install a bird feeder outside a window to see who shows up.
10. Play your favorite music real loud – unless that’s Bonnie Raitt singing Randy Newman’s “Guilty.”