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10 Coping Mechanisms for Dealing with Depression at Work

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At first, you’re just not feeling positive. Then, you start to feel down. Eventually, your work suffers and you get reprimanded for your shoddy work. Before you know it, something triggers your depression and now you’re having a hard time coping. This seems like a nightmare of quicksand, but it is reality for millions of people worldwide.

Depression is hard. More people than ever before are diagnosed with depression. The causes vary, from being overstretched and overworked to being isolated from the real world because we are obsessed with the digital world. The most important thing is to seek treatment with a therapist or by using professional telehealth services to alleviate your depression at work. Before you know it, you will be as good as new and ready to be the most productive member of your team.

Here are ten coping mechanisms for dealing with depression at work:

1. A Mental Health Break

Many workers today are doing a horrible job of taking time off. Studies have found that we are not using our vacation time, staying home from work when we are sick, or just missing a day or two to recuperate. We dismiss this time off by saying, “Well, I don’t want to come back to work and have a big pile of tasks to get done and fall behind.” Is this a good reason? You be the judge.

But this addiction to work could be what is contributing to our declining state of well being. It is typically recommended to take a day off if you are sick. But should you take a day off if your mind just isn’t there or you’re feeling sad and upset? Most people will say no, but it is important to have a mental health break, whether it is used as vacation time or sick leave.

Whatever the case, you need to time off just for your sanity. One of the best ways for dealing with depression at work is simply to take a well-deserved break.

2. Take Care of Yourself Outside the Office

We are adults, so we are responsible for our own lives, which includes our health – mind and body. Let’s be candid: We don’t do a good job of it.

From staying up late to catch up on Miss Marple detective stories to ordering a skinny Vanilla Latte with 35 pumps of Caramel Sauce plus mocha and whipped cream every morning, we need to do better. Until then, poor lifestyle changes will affect you many ways, including your mental health.

3. Socializing – a Middle Ground Solution

When you are depressed, the last thing you want to do is be around people. You prefer to retreat to your cocoon to wallow in your own misery. But is this the way to go about it?

Experts will contend that you need to find a middle ground when it comes to socializing. This typically involves just showing up to the office party or office-related get-togethers. Remember, as the old joke goes, 90 percent of life is just showing up.

That said, you can do a few things:

  • Attend the event for an hour and then decide if you wish to stay or go.
  • Confide in somebody at the office so they can stay with you throughout the affair.
  • Do not drown your sorrows in alcohol if it is available.
  • Participate in office cooler talk, avoid cliched discussions about work.

4. Inform Your Boss or a Superior

Many people dealing with depression at work are frightened about informing their bosses or superiors. They incorrectly deduce that their job is at stake, they will be viewed as weak, or management will treat them differently. But nine times out of 10 this is not the case.

While some bosses will be unsure what to do, they will be understanding and give you the support you need. As long as you let that person know, you will feel a lot better because your behaviour will not be misconstrued as something entirely different.

5. Learn Calming Techniques

On one hand, calming techniques will not cure your depression. On the other, various calming techniques to provide you with relief and the ability to handle a tough situation.

So, what are some calming methods to be aware of:

  • Taking deep breaths; many of us are unaware of how shallow our breaths are.
  • Go for a walk, preferably in nature where you can be surrounded by trees.
  • Just stretch. You are too tense and your bones ache.
  • Check out for a few minutes; daydream about what would make you happy.

6. Find a Venting Partner

People underestimate the power of venting and a venting partner.

Now, it is correct that showering someone with all your negativity is horrendous for the recipient. However, if you have a willing partner, then it completely fine because they are ready for it. Plus, you know, it is reciprocal.

So, find someone who gets frustrated about work as often as you and vent to each other.

7. Outline Goals for the Day

When you are lost in depression, it can be easy to get sidetracked as soon as sit down at our desk. So, what’s the solution? That’s simple enough: Outline your goals for the day and create a to-do list. Having clearly established goals can be one of the best coping mechanisms for dealing with depression at work.

8. Know Your Best Times of Day

Do you know your best time(s) of the day? You may be great in the morning, but then your depression gets triggered after lunch. Or, it is intermittent: You are down first thing in the morning, but then you get lost in your work for an hour before your mental health breaks down again.

This is something important to pay attention because knowing your peaks and valleys can help you stay productive. For instance, between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., you can work at the speed of light.

9. Give Yourself Extra Time

Rather than rushing and flustering yourself, you should give yourself ample time. Now, this does not necessarily mean that you should take two weeks to finish a three-day project. But instead, you can a little bit longer to prepare yourself for the assignment.

10. Personalize Your Workspace

Lastly, instead of staring at your gray cubicle or your bland workstation, you should consider personalizing your work area. This could consist of decorating it with your interests or adding items that can lift your spirits but will not affect your colleagues, such as a plant, an affirmation, or a picture of Venice or Paris.

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