How to Deal With Depression at Work
December 20, 2021 8:00 AM EST | 4 min read
According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and more than 350 million people cope with its symptoms.
Fortunately, there are effective treatments for depression.
The effects can be manageable for those who deal with this ailment.
Dealing with depression is tough for many people, especially if they must keep symptoms manageable at work.
The information below should help you make headway if you suffer from depression and feel it is hampering your productivity.
Keep Your Doctor Informed
If you are seeing a doctor to keep your depression symptoms under control, keep him or her aware of the specific problems you notice while trying to do your best at work.
This includes making notes about medication side effects that make it harder for you to get work done.
Learn Healthy Diversion Techniques
Maybe depression makes you so preoccupied with past regrets and sorrows that you’re nearly unable to function.
Perhaps you get so caught up in worrying about things yet to happen that you can’t concentrate on anything in the present.
When the sad thoughts just keep piling on each other, it’s crucial to learn to cope with strategies that help you stay as calm and focused as possible.
You may find relief by listening to an MP3 file of ocean waves, or taking a five-minute break to go through a guided meditation.
Whatever the case, there are many therapeutic techniques to try that can be done without leaving your desk.
Tailor Your Workspace
Many people don’t realize how much certain environmental factors trigger their depressive behavior.
Carefully look through your work area and see if there are things that might make you more likely to feel down.
For example, if the space above your desk is not well lit, your mood may be lower.
Also, aim to improve your work area, so it helps uplift your outlook.
You might do that by putting a picture of someone you love in clear view.
Another method to try is using an aromatherapy air freshener with a calming scent.
Don’t Sacrifice Self-Care
Even on your busiest days, you should never make your job take priority over well-being.
As part of coming to terms with your depression, you may need to meet with your supervisor to explain what you’re going through.
That way, if depression causes you to reduce the number of days you work or take on fewer responsibilities, superiors will understand your reasoning.
Maintain Realistic Perspectives
Being feasible about what you can accomplish while in a depressed state is crucial.
If you get angry about perceived shortcomings and try to force yourself to meet goals that just aren’t realistic, your depression may get worse.
Challenges are inevitable in every job.
You’ll face obstacles just like anyone else.
The key is knowing how to move past them and keep your eyes on the future rather than being too hard on yourself.
Have a Good Support System
Depression can make it very difficult to stay motivated.
It may also mean you cannot tackle as many things as you’d hoped without help.
Even if you are very independent, it’s still smart to delegate tasks to others when possible.
That may mean depending on your spouse to cook dinner if the workday has been strenuous.
Maybe you’ll need to reach out to a co-worker to see if she could help you add content to presentation slides because you feel swamped with other responsibilities.
Depression can be a debilitating disease.
By employing these coping strategies, you can make it easier to cope with your workdays and maintain your productivity levels.