I'm finding this job search thing depressing and isolating. I'm over-interpreting every little move that I make, and trying to figure out what the people on the other end of the equation are thinking and doing, too. It's making me kind of nuts. I spend a large part of my day just staring at the telephone and checking email. Any suggestions on how I can get myself out of this? This whole thing really sucks.
I know you probably think you're the only person in a search going through this. You're not. As a matter of fact, you may be in the majority, especially if you're used to a structure with a lot of interaction with others. It might've felt good at the beginning of the process, especially if you left a toxic or stressful environment, but now you want to get on with your life. The isolation only feeds your anxiety.
Building new structures is the key. I think a regular schedule makes everything work better. Don't give in to that impulse to read the entire newspaper every morning. (Of course, it's recommended that you read industry or professional magazines or anything about your target market; that's a critical part of any search.) Exercise, especially aerobic, should be a part of that structure. You should get into the best shape of your life, for many reasons, including that it will make you look and feel better, and it will lower your stress level.
In the structure, try to get past the toughest part of the search first. Don't let the parts you hate most shadow you all day. For example, many in transition hate making phone calls, any phone calls, whether they're initial ones, or follow-ups, or even to a friend who was going to make an introduction for you. I like the idea of giving yourself a reward or two for those tough activities. Maybe you get to just sit and read the paper at that point.
Try to get out of the house/apartment. Do some of your research or emailing from a local or business library. Especially if you're in a relationship or marriage. You don't want to strain that relationship, more than it already is. Just in case you haven't figured it out yet, it's unusual for a relationship not to be affected by one of the couple or family being unemployed or in transition.
When a search is really rolling, it should include reading/research, informational/networking meetings, online social media, email and phone follow-ups, all the heavy lifting necessary. If it's done right, it should be a full time job. That kind of structure will help you enormously in getting out of the funk.
Give yourself a break every now and then, too. A weekend away is a good idea. Lunch with friends you never get to see when you're working is also a good idea, especially because it could lead to building new networks.
Oh, and by the way, revising your resume over and over is a waste of time.
To find answers to your questions on job search and career transition, get your copy of In Search of the Fun-Forever Job: Career Strategies that Work