Unemployment sucks.

That’s how it seemed to me at first anyway; a hideous mind-fuck of the tallest order where you question your purpose in society, your ability to function on little money (or benefits) and wonder if you can survive eating cardboard for a few weeks until you pluck up the courage to ask your parents for money.

I hate to say it, but things will get worse before they get better. Take me for example, I began writing this post from bed, at 1am in the morning. Not because I have a creative mind that seems to spark to life in the peaceful hours of darkness, but because my sleep pattern is messed up because I have no routine.

My wonderful husband is working his new dream job for at least eight hours a day and the best I can hope for some days is a shower before lunchtime. In between that and making various snacks, meals and keeping Instagram updated with quality snaps of said meals it’s a wonder I found time to look for a job at all. But it did get better. Here are five surprisingly positive things I’ve found about being unemployed.

The chance to explore new career paths

This is a great opportunity to think about your next career move. Maybe it’s time to consider something brand new? For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to get into teaching.

You might not be able to afford the training just now, but you could find out more about the job and whether you would like it or not. Look through your contacts and find someone who is a teacher – or knows one – and set up a meeting to pick their brain about conditions, pay, benefits and how to go about getting into the profession.

You could also look for some work experience in your chosen field. Even if it comes to nothing or you find out it’s not your bag, you’ll have something new to add to your CV for that next job interview. I’ve been working on my graphic design, blogging and SEO skills whilst I’m out of work and I’ve managed to get some freelance work out of it.

Your tea never gets cold

This might seem like a small matter, but really there is no greater pleasure than a fresh cup of hot tea. Today’s world is so distracting that most of us only ever get to enjoy half a cup at best before a child needs our attention or the doorbell rings.

Yes unemployment is difficult and scary, but try and appreciate this newfound time you have to completely unwind and have some much-needed quality time to yourself. Grab that book that’s been sitting waiting to be read for months, make a cuppa and relax.

Time to try out old and hobbies

We’ve all got pastimes that we wish we had more time for. It might be something you used to be an expert at like painting or writing and can easily be revived. Once you get back into your groove you might even feel confident enough to offer your services as a tutor to others for a small fee.

If you’re feeling adventurous why not go out on a limb and try something you’ve always wanted to do like learn a new language or take up knitting? Search You Tube for tutorials or check your local library for books or find free classes in your area. I’ve rekindled my love for yoga after years of trying to commit to doing it regularly and I’m so glad I did it.

Your washing is always up to date

Is there a more satisfying feeling than seeing the bottom of your laundry basket? Maybe I’ve been unemployed for too long, but to me that’s pure happiness right there.

Not working can leave you feeling unfulfilled, but putting that extra time into keeping your home clean and organised can be a good way to fill the days and feel productive. I like to put at least one laundry wash on everyday, clean all of my dishes as soon as we’re done eating, clean the bathroom twice a day and I have been filing all my paperwork on a regular basis too. I’m basically excelling at being a fully-fledged adult in every other area of my life to make up for the lack of income.

I’ve been seriously job-hunting for over a week now and although I’ve not found any permanent work, I still feel like I have a place in the world. I’m creating content everyday, improving my blog layout, developing my own style and connecting with people all over the world. I wouldn’t be able to do all this without the time I have to spare everyday. So until opportunity comes a knockin’ I’m doing just fine.

Have you found a positive side to unemployment?