Tips for Balancing Depression in the Workplace
We all know that life cannot always be separated from work. We aim to have two separate lives: personal and business. But as we cannot control life, there are circumstances that have the potential to overflow into the workplace. In this particular instance, I am speaking of depression.
Depression has always had a bad stigma in pop culture and society. It’s a sickness that cannot be seen, and can be viewed negatively. It’s a societal taboo even though it is one of the top ten reasons people go to the doctor.
There are also various types of depression, ranging from minor, reactive, clinical, or psychotic. To find out the different areas of depression, you can do so here.
Regardless of the situation you may find yourself in, there may be times when depression affects you in the workplace. You should never wave depression away or sweep it under the rug. Instead, we should always encourage ourselves and others to get help if they suffer from depression, and learn healthy ways to cope or recover.
Here are some tips for balancing your depression in workplace:
Seek help and acknowledge that your health should be your top priority. While this sounds like common sense, it is the first step, and therefore sometimes the hardest step to accept. Outside of work, seek counseling and talk to your doctor. Depending on the severity of your depression, they will help you if you need to seek medication and support you. Keep in mind that help outside of work is the only way you can start to cope with it at work or in your personal life. Acknowledging that your health is your top priority is also as essentially important as seeking help. There may be instances where you will have to put work second and yourself first. This is okay. This is essential. Once this step is done, you can move forward towards recovery and healthy coping mechanisms.
If you can, have a “buddy” or co-worker you can consider a real friend. I know this isn’t always possible in every workplace, but even having one close co-worker can do wonders for your mood. It’s comforting to know that somebody has your back, even if this means you just have someone you can open up to once in awhile. They may be a great source of moral support, and give you that pep-talk, or just listen, when you really need them to. This could also help in group situations because at least one person understands what you’re going through and respects if you need to take a moment for yourself.
Discuss your depression with your boss. Again, depending on your relationship with your boss, this may not always be possible. But keep in mind that depression is a very real illness and should be taken seriously. By opening up to your boss and being upfront with what you are going through, they will be more understanding if your work is affected by it. They will probably also respect the fact that you are letting them know and trying to do your best at work in spite of it. Discussing your depression with your boss can strengthen your relationship, and also relieve you of any pressure you may have been feeling. Remember: we’re all human and trying to do our very best.
Remember that it is okay to not be perfect. Depression can amplify negative feelings that surround you. An occasional bad day at work may feel 10x more painful than it would if you were not suffering from depression. Of course, depression fluctuates with good and bad days, but you don’t want a day that is already bogged down by depression to become even worse when it coincides with a day that you make a mistake at work. Remember that making mistakes is not a reflection of who you are as an individual. When in counseling, they will probably discuss how your negative and positive thoughts can actively affect your mood. By remembering that it is okay to fail once in awhile, and practicing this mindset, those bad days at work will hopefully not be as monumental as they used to be.
Identify triggers and learn how to handle them. I do want to stress again that talking directly with healthcare professionals is essential, but you can also look up symptoms and look for tools at staying well. One great website where you can find this information is here. Once you identify your triggers and learn how to handle them, this will make work much easier. For example, say around noon every day, you start to feel panicky for no reason. Or you notice a specific time, or after certain conversations with certain colleagues, you may have an urge to cry, or find yourself feeling particularly down. Once you realize this pattern, you can start to tackle it. Around noon, go for a walk. Take a few minutes in silence, somewhere, to steady your breathing. Listen to calming music. If you have to cry, find somewhere where you can. Allow yourself to feel and allow yourself to calm down. By doing this, overtime these moments may become less powerful and less daunting.
To repeat, remember that we are all human and merely trying to do our best. You are human, and you are loved, and you deserve to learn how to handle your depression in the workplace. It is manageable with the right tools and knowledge. Hopefully these tips will lessen any strain you may be feeling due to depression at work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: AMY VAUGHN
As a Montclair State University graduate with a BA in English, my first love is writing, specifically nonfiction and short stories. International human rights and women’s rights are also strong passions of mine. I hope to someday be able to call myself Chief Editor, human rights advocate, and jewelry designer. I can’t live without Mad Men (er, Netflix), soy chai lattes, or my adorable Wheaten terrier, Pippin.
Originally posted 2015-10-26 14:00:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter