Dear Art Doctor,
I spend so much time worrying about being left behind in the job market that I fear I’m being left behind in the job market. And now I’ve got a rash. Help!
Well, mysterious correspondent, I think we should start by taking a few deep breaths and breaking this problem down. The first thing I’m getting here is a tendency to worry rather a lot, which seems to be usurping the far more practical – and separate – issue of getting a job. And then there’s the rash to deal with. Fear not – not only am I eminently sensible with arty advice, I also have a skincare certificate (true fact). So we can definitely work this one out.
Let’s deal with the worry first. The problem is that it’s terribly easy to become anxious about feeling anxious, and that’s not productive, which just increases your anxiety. So you need to break that cycle. Have tea, toast, and a bath. Get some sleep. Go on a few long walks. Give your mind space to come up with ideas and solutions. Why not have a walk along the Water of Leith to find quiet companionship with Antony Gormley’s iron men? Attempting to find all six will distract you from your worrying, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you returned to your flat feeling refreshed and ready to re-draft your CV for the twenty third time (seriously, it’s definitely fine by now – send it to someone, I dare you!). And look – by not worrying about the job market, we’ve found a way to make sure you don’t get left behind. If you devote time to being calm, and similarly, set aside specific blocks of time for sending off applications and letters, you’ll find you are more productive and less anxious. Incidentally, if you don’t fancy the walk down to Leith, you could just go and wander around the grounds of the Dean Gallery. Contemplating the THERE WILL BE NO MIRACLES HERE sign in the gardens might also encourage you to set yourself realistic goals.
And so we move onto the rash. I really think that it will disappear once you relax, but applying oatmeal is unbelievably soothing if you want a quick fix. Or maybe you could go and see a real doctor.
Originally published in The Student.