turned on silver imac with might mouse and keyboard

How I Survived Being Unemployed Post-Pandemic

When the San Francisco Bay Area announced the COVID-19 stay-at-home order last year, it honestly was a blessing in disguise for me. My consulting contract with Adobe was set to officially end on March 25th, 2020. So with the world shutting down, I was in a panic, unsure of what was coming next for me. Luckily, due to new extenuating circumstances, including a necessary hiring freeze, Adobe was able to extend my contract until July 2020. July turned into December 2020. Then December turned into March 2021. Until March, when I received my official contract end date: June 25th, 2021. July could have been a struggle for me mentally & financially, but I enjoyed the month without work as FUNemployment instead. Here’s how I survived being unemployed post-pandemic.

HAVE A SAVINGS

My Savings has always been the primary way to keep myself afloat. When I am employed, I deposit 10% of every paycheck into my Savings to use for emergency circumstances, such as unexpected medical expenses, car maintenance, sudden job termination, etc. I encourage you to always keep three months, or even six months if you can manage it, worth of your fixed monthly expenses in a Savings account. Then, once you have more than enough money in your Savings account, pretend that it’s not there. Do not continue to dip into your Savings to spend on non-essential, frivolous things. Your Savings isn’t extra cash you find laying around.

UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN & RESUME

It’s important to keep your LinkedIn up to date. Recruiters scour LinkedIn every day looking for new potential candidates to fill their open roles. Be sure to keep your work history up to date, & update your profile picture to #OPENTOWORK. I worked with a few amazing recruiters during my job search last month, & I found amazing new job opportunities through my network.

Your resume is also important to keep up to date. While you may have had the luxury of not needing to apply to a new job for the past XYZ years, you want to add your most recent role & any relevant job, intern, or volunteering experience to give your future employers a sense of your career growth over the most recent years.

APPLY TO JOBS ASAP

It hurts to be blindsided by a sudden job layoff or termination. I was fortunate enough to have my end-of-contract day given to me three months in advance in March 2021. I immediately started applying for new job opportunities; only to be unsuccessful in my search. While I found & interviewed for many great roles in my particular area of expertise, the salaries for many of the roles I interviewed for were very low. With the rising cost of living in the Bay Area, there was no way I could justify taking a $30K pay cut, even if I was excited for the role.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

Unemployment will always be unpredictable. I started looking for a new job three months before I became unemployed, & I still had to continue to look for a new job for a whole month without any income. But through lots of applying, interview prep, prep calls with Recruiters, & Zoom interviews, I finally found the perfect next role for myself with an amazing team, a substantial salary, stock options, & a variety of benefits!

If you are actively job searching, don’t give up hope! I survived being unemployed post-pandemic, & you can too. Unemployment is a struggle that many of us will experience at least once throughout our lifetime, but if you stay hopeful, prepare yourself, & put in the work to find the best new role for yourself, your next job offer will be here before you know it.

XO Denise

bed with cushions reflecting in mirror in bedroom

How I Deal With My Body Dysmorphia

Last March, I mentioned my Body Dysmorphia in the blog post: Learning to Love Myself. Anyone who also struggles with a Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) has a unique experience. We will all learn to deal with it in our own way. By sharing how I deal with my body dysmorphia today, I hope to inspire & help others who are still struggling on their personal journey with BDD.

IDENTIFY OBSESSIONS & STOP THEM IMMEDIATELY

Years ago, I would weigh myself & measure my arms, hips, thighs, & waist every Sunday. Unlike my current self-care rituals, this eventually became a self-hate ritual. I would hate myself & became frustrated & irritated if I gained weight or didn’t lose enough weight. I’d obsess over my flabby arms & thighs & constantly suck in my stomach with all my core strength. Because despite any change in the numbers on the scale or loss of inches, I never saw a leaner, sexier, or stronger body in the mirror.

All my obsessions did was justify depriving myself of things that I loved to eat. I was obsessed with hitting 10,000 steps every day, even on days that I took a barre3, RUMBLE, or SoulCycle class. With my FitBit & Noom, I obsessively record every single calorie that I eat, every calorie that I burn off, & shame myself for being weak & having a chocolate peanut butter cookie.

I was thrilled when I was sick & lost my appetite altogether. Or better yet… when I got the stomach flu because it would guarantee around 7 pounds of weight loss with minimal effort. It took a long time for me to finally self-reflect that my actions, despite not refusing to eat outright or making myself throw up, were unhealthy. Why would a sane person wish illness on themself?

Now, I do not allow myself to stare & judge my body. If I must look at myself in the mirror or look at a full body photo, I only compliment myself. I also do not take my measurements unless absolutely necessary. I no longer constantly wear a FitBit or check my Health app on my iPhone. It’s how I track my daily step count & the calories that I consume & burn throughout the day. But I know that obsessing over those numbers isn’t healthy.

BE MINDFUL OF ALL THE WAYS TO LOVE & NOURISH YOUR BODY

Instead of counting calories, I eat colorfully. I always make sure my meals are a mix of protein, veggies, & whole grains. I love fresh fruit & veggies! If I can count at least 5 natural colors that I’ve eaten for the day, I know that I’ve done my job of nourishing my body with healthy foods. For example, banana (yellow), spinach (green), baby carrots (orange), bell pepper (red), & blueberries (blue).

Instead of obsessing over calories or steps, I keep track of how many times I move in a week. Right now, I dance every day for 25 minutes by playing the Nintendo Switch video game Just Dance. Three times a week I lift weights. And once or twice a week, I stretch my body & do yoga. As long as I’m moving & strengthening my body in a way that I enjoy & love, I’m doing my best to be healthy.

ACCEPT THAT THE JOURNEY HAS JUST BEGUN

I am fully aware that acceptance of my BDD is just the beginning. There will be good & bad days when it comes to my relationship with my body & food, but that’s ok. I know that I can potentially struggle with my BDD for the rest of my life. There will be days that I slip up & eat a McDonald’s two sausage burrito breakfast meal with hash browns & an iced caramel mocha followed by Taco Bell as a late-night snack, but I am now more aware that I am human. We all make mistakes. Instead of punishing myself by walking around my apartment late at night until I hit 10,000 steps or skipping meals the next day, I accept what I did, forgive myself, & move forward.

I hope that sharing how I deal with my body dysmorphia helps you or someone that you love. Do you or someone you love have BDD? How do you or they deal with it? Let me know in a comment below.

XO Denise

pastry and boiled egg on plate

My Unemployment Routine

After many contract extensions, my consulting contract with Adobe officially ended on June 25, 2021. I am still so blessed & grateful to Adobe for keeping me employed through the COVID-19 pandemic. But with vaccinations & the world slowly reopening again, it was time for me to finally say goodbye. I’ve never been one to be lazy. From a very young age, I began to establish routines to stay productive, & that is why I’m going to share my unemployment routine today. I hope it helps inspire any of you who are lacking in motivation & productivity to create your own.

The Importance of a Routine

At only three years old, I established my very 1st-morning routine. I still remember waking up, brushing my teeth, getting dressed, pretending to put on makeup in my Dad’s car, getting dropped off at pre-school, saying hello to my teachers, & heading straight to the snack bar for my morning Fruit Roll-Up. lol it’s ok if you don’t believe that I have a clear memory from when I was three, but if I close my eyes, I can still see myself going through it. As an introvert, my mind is always deep in thought, & I personally love a routine to keep me productive as well as ensure that I’m taking care of myself.

My Unemployment Routine

So let’s get into my unemployment routine! Please keep in mind that I adjust as needed for Zoom readings, Job Interviews, etc.

7:25 am | Wake-Up
  • Walk Pogi
  • Feed Pogi
  • Pray
  • Meditate
  • Shower
  • Breakfast
8:45 am | XO Denise Joyce Daily Card Pulls
9:00 am | XO Denise Joyce
  • Post to Instagram & TikTok
  • Engagement with my Followers on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, & YouTube
  • Analyze & update XO Denise Joyce Engagement & Growth Analytics
  • Check Emails
    • Reply to reading requests
    • Send reading reminders for that day’s scheduled Zoom readings
  • Do my Hair & Makeup
  • Cleanse my workspace with my Camaya Healing Sprays
  • Fulfill paid Instagram & Twitter DM intuitive card reading requests
  • Fulfill paid digital intuitive card reading requests
  • Set up & cleanse my filming space with my Camaya Healing Sprays
  • Film 2 – 4 General Energy Intuitive Card Readings for YouTube
12:00 pm | Lunch
  • Walk Pogi
  • Prepare a salad or sandwich
  • Cuddle & play with Pogi
  • YouTube Sound Bath Meditation
  • Cup of Tea (Green or Peppermint)
1:00 pm | XO Denise Joyce
  • Edit YouTube videos
  • Create YouTube thumbnails
  • Upload & schedule YouTube videos
  • Schedule YouTube Tweets for when the videos are live
2:00 pm | Zoom
  • Job Interviews
  • Zoom card readings
  • Fulfill any additional paid Instagram & Twitter DM intuitive card reading requests
  • Fulfill any additional paid digital intuitive card reading requests
4:00 pm | Job Search
  • Apply to new job opportunities
  • Interview prep
  • Follow up with Recruiters
6:00 pm | Dinner
  • Walk Pogi
  • Feed Pogi
  • Cook Dinner
  • Eat Dinner
8:00 pm | Workout
  • Abs
  • Arms
  • Squats
  • Just Dance or Peloton Ride
  • Shower
9:00 pm | Relax
  • Video Games
  • Watch TV
10:00 pm | No more screens!
11:00 pm | Get ready for bed

How My Unemployment Routine Has Helped Me

If COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have taught me anything, it’s that without a routine in place, it would be easy for me to stop taking care of myself. Last month, I could have been neglecting Pogi, sleeping in until noon, ordering DoorDash every day instead of cooking, & not working out. But instead, I’m busier & more productive than ever because I’m working to create a beautiful & successful life for myself.

Do you have a daily routine? How do you ensure that you stay productive? Let me know in a comment below.

XO Denise