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7 Helpful Things You Should Be Doing When Unemployed & Looking for Work

4% of Americans are unemployed

Real talk – if you’re currently unemployed, you may find yourself struggling with motivation, low self-esteem, depression or other mental health issues. 

Know that you’re not alone and this is a very normal reaction to being unemployed, especially for longer periods. 

To avoid participating in behaviors which will make finding a job even more difficult, such as substance abuse, take a look at this list for things to do when unemployed:

1. Exercise Boosts Your Confidence

You may wonder how going outside for a run, or cycling along the local canal path can help you find a job. 

But, it’s been proven time and time again that exercise can help boost your health. It can also:

  • Make you feel more alert.
  • Improve your confidence.
  • Give you a sense of pride in what your body can do.
  • Reduce chronic disease risk.
  • Help you lose weight.

Better yet, exercise can actually make you feel happier. It’s not magic and it will take some hard work.

But, during your time of unemployment, there’s nothing better to do than throw yourself into your favorite sport or form of exercise. 

Plus, what better to write on your resume than “last year I completed a marathon/triathlon”?

2. Make a Schedule and Stick to It

Being unemployed when you’re also juggling other commitments, such as family, can be extremely difficult.

To make sure your responsibilities are maintained, plan a schedule for your days. Have a set routine which you follow, giving you time to look after little ones AND look for jobs. 

Even if you don’t have other commitments besides looking after yourself, having a schedule can give you a sense of purpose and a reason to get out of bed. 

For example: 

  • 8 am – wake up, meditate, shower and get ready for the day.
  • 9 am – breakfast and wash up dishes.
  • 9:30 am – exercise.
  • 10:30 am – start looking for jobs.
  • 1 pm – plan a delicious, healthy lunch or meet a friend for lunch.
  • 2 pm – work on a personal project/volunteer/help a neighbor with their garden.
  • 4 pm – look for work or apply for jobs you found in the morning. 
  • 7 pm – visit family after work.

Of course, this is just a brief example. But, by filling your time and planning things to do, you’ll ensure you’re socializing, looking after yourself AND looking for jobs.

Make sure to break up the time you spend looking for jobs so that it doesn’t feel disheartening. 

3. Boost Your Skills

Finding a personal project can help bring purpose to your life. Even people in employment struggle to figure out what their “purpose” in life is. 

During your time of unemployment, try to find out what you love doing most. Then, when you’re in employment, even if you don’t love the work, you’ll have a sense of purpose outside of the job. This is invaluable. 

Perhaps your interests are cooking or learning languages? If so, find a course in your area which can help you boost your skills. 

Can’t afford to do a course? Focus on learning at home. There are plenty of free resources online, all you need to do is look for what you’re interested in and commit to one thing at a time. 

Perhaps you can’t find a skill to work on as a personal project. Instead, why not train for the job you want? This will show self-motivation which all employers respect.

4. Volunteering Is Good for You

When feeling sorry for yourself, what better way to stop moping around than to help others and volunteer your time.

By not thinking about yourself for just a few hours of the week, you’ll realize that everyone has their problems and you’ll find that your own mood is boosted by doing good by others.

Better yet, if you volunteer regularly, you’ll form a community and make new friends. 

There are many worthy causes to look into when you first decide to volunteer. For example, why not work with refugees to help them get established in your town?

You may also want to look into volunteering positions which can help you boost certain skills. Who knows, work could come from your volunteering position too.

5. Sell Everything You Don’t Need

If you’re struggling financially, then a good idea is to sell items which you don’t need. 

Did you know, there are more self-storage facilities in the US than there are McDonald’s? If you’re guilty of hoarding lots of stuff, it’s time to set up an eBay account. 

You don’t need to go full-blown minimalist and only keep 150 items. But, by selling things you don’t use, you’ll be freeing up your space AND boosting your finances. 

While you’re at it, you may find that you’re very gifted at selling on eBay and could set up a small side business.

Sure, it may not replace a full-time job, but many people make a tidy sum each month by buying vintage clothing, doing it up and selling it on… 

6. Find Part Time Work

If your small online clothing business doesn’t take off, then why not consider looking for other work online?

Websites such as Fiverr or Upwork can help you boost your skills and earn a couple of dollars per project. Alternatively, you may want to join a temp agency for a few months.

Although neither are permanent solutions, they will help ensure you have money at the end of the month.

If neither of these proves to be a viable solution for you, then considering a loan may be the only option left. If this is the case, always do your research to ensure you’re getting a good deal. Read more about this before making a decision. 

7. Take Advantage of this Time

One-THIRD of our lives is spent at work. Although being unemployed certainly poses many difficulties, it also brings some benefits. 

For example, this is the time to form habits and become the person you want to be. Focus on your relationships, your mental health, and your physical health. 

When your time of unemployment comes to an end, you can deem it a success if you’ve grown as a person, even if your family doesn’t see it that way.

Try All of These Things to Do When Unemployed 

If you’re struggling to find positive things to do when unemployed, make sure to start with everything in this list!

Still struggling to find fun and meaning in your life? Why not revert back to your childish ways when you were happiest. Check out these five harmless car pranks to play on your best friend!


Annoying Aviaries: How to Keep Birds Out of Your Garden

Bird control in gardens and farms is not just a hobby concept, it could impact your bread and butter income, or your food supply. A study on vineyards in Canada showed that vineyards that did not have bird control lost approximately 50 percent of their Cabernet Franc grapes and 100 percent of their Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

A lack of bird control could lead to devastating losses for any farm or garden regardless of size.

You put a lot of energy, time, and money into your garden. Find out how to keep birds out of your garden to ensure those are resources well spent.

How to Keep Birds Out of Your Garden

There are both old school and twenty-first-century methods of keeping birds out of your garden. The methods you choose will likely be determined by the kinds of birds you have eating your crops, and what kinds of crops that you have.

You can use any of these methods whether you are gardening out of a window box in your condominium, or tilling acres of land.

Blackbirds and crows are among the most common birds of prey to gardens, but there are a number of birds that may drop by your banquet of fruits and vegetables.

At the same time, some of these birds may be useful in eating the insects that will also be very interested in this same feast. But you still want to control them.

From netting to bird bangers, there are a number of ways to keep the birds of prey away.

Old School Methods

Bird netting is one of the most common ways to prevent birds from coming to eat. Horticultural author Pippa Greenwood says that netting is the only sure fire way to prevent and deter birds.

It is also the most common bird deterrent. Use poles or stakes around the fruits and vegetables and then drape netting overtop to protect them.

Another old-school method is to soak dried corn kernels in whiskey and then scatter it across your crops and farm. It will make the birds a little tipsy once, and they won’t be inclined to return.

Check out this gallery of market vegetables and the farm they have grown on to learn more about protecting your veggies from Mother Nature’s creatures.

Hi-Tech Methods of Farm Protection

If you have a large farm or garden to protect or depend on crops for your income or food, you might want to employ more technical methods of farm protection available today.

One form of technology is known as a bird buster and imitates the high screech of an owl to scare away birds. Bird bangers are also very useful and employ the use of a propane-fired cannon to send out intermittent bangs throughout the day to scare birds.

In Canada, one study learned that a double-firing bird banger protected more than twice the area of the farm than one that was single-firing.

Bird kites are also very popular. These are kites that look like birds and scare actual birds away. The Falcon Frightkite by is a very popular and cost-effective way of chasing away birds that are eating your profits.

Become Inspired

Your garden is going to be your baby for several months of the year, whether you are using it for income or to put food on the table. All of those hopes and dreams all start with one seed, that could turn into a devastating loss due to creatures of a feather. If you don’t figure out how to keep birds out of your garden you may have serious issues.

It is estimated that if one bird eats just 4 kernels or grapes a day, an entire flock of 5,000 will consume 1,000 kilograms or 2,204 pounds of food in just ten days. This could sink an entire year for a farmer that depends on these crops to survive.

When you are finding out how to protect your garden from birds, use an integrated approach with both old school and hi-tech methods of acoustic, visual, and physical barriers for bird control. Become inspired through this amazing gallery of fresh foods that are farmed right to the table at Oakley’s Farm Market in Hebron, Maryland.


5 Harmless Car Pranks to Play on Your Best Friend

 Our cars are some of our most valuable treasures. For some people more than others.

Whether you spend $1,000 dollars, $100,000, or anywhere in between, there’s a special bond that forms between you and your car.

You rely on it. You spend time in it. Some people, up to 40%, even name their cars.

Therefore, what better way to mess with your friend than to mess with their car?

Check out these 5 classic and harmless car pranks!

1. Wrap It

One of the most common car pranks is the “sealed for freshness” saran wrap. However, it deserves its popularity. Wrapping a car in saran wrap will make it impossible to get into without some serious work and it’s completely safe and harmless.

However, saran wrap is not your only option for the classic car wrap. If keeping it fresh is your top priority, you can also use aluminum foil.

If flare and pizzazz is more your style, you can use Christmas or birthday wrapping paper. Don’t forget the bow!

2. Sticker It

Another best among harmless car pranks is the sticky note approach. Sticky notes have a non-damaging adhesive safe for all surfaces.

This method allows you to be quite creative and artistic, too. With the wide variety of stick note colors, the sky is your limit.

You can give your friend the “paint job” they’ve always wanted, or the one you’ve always wanted them to have. Do they need racing stripes? Perhaps some pink tires? It’s up to you now!

While we’re on the topic of stickers, why not a custom bumper sticker?

Companies like allow you to create your own bumper sticker and order as many as you want for a super low cost.

Think about it. Doesn’t your buddy’s macho truck need 100 pink bumper stickers proclaiming his love for kitties? It does.

3. “Sell” It

If you want other people in on your car prank (even if they don’t know it), put your friend’s car up for sale.

You can post it on Craigslist, Facebook, or even put up a sign on their car. People will be calling your friend, inquiring about their car and they will have no idea what’s going on.

Make sure it’s priced to sell though, you want lots of interested buyers!

4. Hit and Run It

One of the funniest car pranks, especially if your friend happens to be OCD about their car, is the hit and run prank.

All you have to do is leave a vague note left by a careless driver about accidentally bumping into your friend’s car. Be sure not to give away where it was hit, though, you want them searching for the “damage” for a while.

It also helps if you mention in the note that the driver doesn’t have insurance and is only writing the note because there were witnesses.

Finally, as your friend starts to realize there might not be any visible damage, point out a random area and swear you can see scratches there.

5. Fill It

Last but certainly not least of all car pranks is the “stuffed” prank.

There are limitless options of what media to use for this masterpiece, but balloons, shredded paper, ping-pong balls, and packing peanuts are popular choices.

The goal is simple, fill your friend’s car to the brim with whatever you choose. They will have no idea what to do with all of it and won’t even be able to drive anywhere!

Car Pranks Aside

Here at Oakley Farm Market, we are all about community and fun!

Harmless car pranks are a great way to show your friend or family member how much you are thinking about them! Just make sure you help them clean up!

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