“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
― William Martin, The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents
Seriously. For as depressing as unemployment can be, there's a certain freedom that's nice.
Stick to a schedule Wake up at a respectable time, get dressed, drink your coffee and eat breakfast. Do your "chores" and clean up. You have a job to do, even if you aren't getting paid (yet). It'll also prevent you from feeling useless.
Job Hunting is a Job Treat your job hunt like a job. Start early, work till lunch, take a lunch, keep working. Then be done when the day is over. It keeps you sane and in a rhythm that future employers will notice.
Talk to people Talk to your friends and family. It doesn't have to be about the job hunt, either. Just talk to them. Call old friends and check in. It's good for your mental wellbeing, but it also keeps you in their thoughts so if an opportunity arises that you might be a fit for, they think of you first.
Do something for someone else once a week Help a friend fix some plumbing. Mow your neighbor's lawn. Volunteer at the animal shelter. Keep busy and be productive. It gives you something to say when someone asks "What have you been up to?"
Use your phone Call potential employers or places you are interested in. See if you can talk to someone for an informational interview. Ask specific questions about positions. Show interest. Use their name and use yours. Talk to at least one company or employer a day.
When you interview, get to know the secretary Employers frequently ask secretaries and office admins about how potential employees behaved and acted. People like people that are friendly. Be friendly.
Spend some time each day on something you enjoy You are unemployed, not in prison. If you like playing video games, play some video games when you are done with your chores and applying to jobs. If you like fishing, go fishing on Saturday. If you like art, paint or draw or whatever. Practice an instrument or a foreign language. Have a beer in the back yard. Relax.
Ask yourself questions Talk to yourself through the day. Ask questions that might come up on interviews or questions that you haven't had the time to think of answers to. You have time and space now. Use it. No on is there to judge you, so chat away. Talking through problems and questions helps us figure out solutions.
Exercise Run or go hiking or something. If you have a bike, ride it. If you worked out before, keep working out. Your emotional and mental wellbeing are tied to your physical well being. Take care of your body and take advantage of the free time you have. When it's just you at home during the day, no one minds if you smell a little bit after a lunch-time jog. Shower before the spouse gets home, though.