Anyone who has been unemployed will tell you there are many strange feelings associated with the jobless state. Perhaps one of the most pervasive is the feeling of being at sea time-wise. Gone are all of those “to do” lists of tasks associated with the working life. Without a definite schedule, it may feel overwhelming to take on distressing work such as signing up for social services, visiting a food pantry, and doing the paperwork that comes with receiving unemployment benefits. And although there may be some pluses to taking one’s time over household chores and ordinary errands, the feeling of being set adrift persists.

That’s when it’s time to swap your “to do” list for a “to be” list. The secret lies in listing things that will anchor you in your best self while leading to efforts that will be productive, emotionally and practically. Here are some examples that will work wonders on anyone’s “to be” list:

• Be an excellent parent. Maintain routines for youngsters and communicate with teens and adult children to reassure them that you have confidence in yourself to rise above this crisis. Let them know attitude is everything in adversity. Listen to any concerns they express. Contact other family members, too, to assuage their fears for you.

• Be a good friend and listener. Phone another person who is jobless and say something encouraging. Listen.

• Be loving. Think about your partner’s happiness. Be playful with your children or grandchildren. Do something special for an older person in your life.

• Be grateful. Show it by writing personal notes to people who have offered comfort and practical support during this crisis.

• Be ready to use an underused talent. Think broadly about who you are, your skill sets and your passions. This may lead to a new career path that is even more rewarding than the one you lost.

• Be open to happiness. Moments of joy happen even in the darkest times. Be vigilant for them and embrace them wholeheartedly when they arrive.

• Be well-dressed. Wear favorite clothes that make you feel most comfortable. Choose bright colors whenever possible. Freshen up some outfits for job interviews.

• Be organized. Get your home cleaned and organized. A tidy home is a haven to snuggle into when you feel low and a pleasant place into which you will be glad to invite friends.