Today job is not just a means to earn livelihood but it has also become a necessity as it has become a part of our personality, our life and our individuality. Then we spend more than 8 hours in our office, with colleagues who more often than not become our second family. Hence it is important that we love our work and office and more than that, the office and work should love us in return. There is this famous quote, “You find a job you love and you will never have to work.” But not all are that lucky to find such a job. Here we have discussed few tips on coping with depression at work.
Depression at work is often caused by over stress. It can be either due to lack of interest in the work, overwork, not getting promotion or raise, office gossips, lack of credit for work or lack of respect, harassment and many a times personal problems. An overstressed employee can be identified easily. It is up to the management to note any change in the employee’s behaviour and understand and try to offer a helping hand. If a person suddenly seems to lose interest in work, loses temper for small reasons, does not get along with others, is not punctual, taking leave often, disorganized look and lethargy, etc., can often be symptoms of depression at work.
Often quitting or taking action against a disinterested employee is not an apt solution. It is important to find the reasons for depression and work towards finding a solution.
Coping with Depression at Work:
1. Take a deep breath:
Whenever you feel over stressed at work or find yourself handling too much, sit down and take a deep breath. Give yourself a smile and say, “Things are going to be fine.”
2. Analyze and ponder:
Analyze the situation. Find the reasons that make you depressed. If possible, try to find a solution and if not, leave or ignore the problem for the time being.
3. Check your work-life balance:
Are you devoting equal time to your family too? One can feel depressed at work when he or she is not able to spend much time with their family. Being with your partner and children or with your siblings and parents or friends can be a great stress buster.
4. Find a hobby:
Any activity that you can indulge in after work is worthwhile to be followed. It can be gardening, painting, craft work, music, writing, dancing, etc. Take up an activity that will help you shift your focus and make you happy.
5. Ignore gossips:
Gossips are a major reason to make one depressed. When false stories are circulated for selfish gains, the victim does feel helpless and as a result, go into deep depression. If you are one of them, just the only way out is to handle such a situation with grace and ignore gossips altogether. Confront the situation and the person behind with confidence.
6. Take up work that you can handle:
You are not someone with super powers, so take up responsibilities that you can handle and tackle with efficiency. Taking too much work or projects can often lead to depression because you feel over worked and not being able to complete any work.
7. Don’t even think of quitting:
As the lines of the poem go, ‘When things go wrong as they sometime will, don’t quit’. Quitting is not a solution at all. Even if you quit the job and sit at home, you will not feel at peace with yourself unless and until you have solved the problem lingering within you. Depression cannot be solved by running away from the problem but only when you confront it and find a solution.
8. Do not depend on anti-depressants:
Remember, depression is not physical problem or sickness that can be cured with pills. It is something that affects mind. Issues of mind can never be resolved with doctor’s medicine. It often happens that people resort to anti-depressants for quick relief but instead of being relieved of depression, they end up being addicts to such pills, as a result, totally ruining their life.
9. Speak to your immediate boss:
If you are facing any kind of problem in your work which is becoming a cause for you to get depressed or are unhappy at work, then speak to your boss about your unhappiness and see if both of you can arrive at a solution. Let them feel what you are facing and they will suggest the next step.
10. Handling personal issues:
If you are facing a personal crisis because of which you are feeling depressed, then speak to your managers about it and if needed, take a break. Handle your personal problems by seeking help.
11. Clear your working space:
A messed up table means a messed up you just as a disorganized home means disorganized relationships. Clear your working space and you will be amazed how free you will feel. If you want a change of cubicle or place, talk to your office administrator. Keep a plant near your work station or keep a photo of your family. Looking at a photograph of your loved ones will make you feel happy. Such simple tips can help you a lot in handling depression at work.
12. Find the cause:
There can be many reasons to feel depressed at work but even there can be just one reason to feel depressed. Identify the reason and try to mend it. If it is the lack of credit for your work that you are faced with, then talk to your boss about it and assert yourself. Finding the root and mending it is the best way to find cure for depression at work.
13. Stand up for yourself:
Do not feel sympathy for yourself but what you need is empathy. Stand up for what you think and more importantly stand up for yourself. It is often found that when you stand up for your self-respect, dignity and wellness, you feel good about yourself. Feeling good about yourself is the first sign of relieving yourself of depression.
14. Deal one thing at a time:
More often than not, a person gets depressed and stressed out when there is more than he can handle. If you can, accept only those assignments that you can handle. If that is not possible and you are stuck with multiple projects, then instead of holding your head and feeling depressed about it, chalk out a schedule. Give priority to those tasks that are the most urgent. Take one thing at a time and try to complete it efficiently. The satisfaction of being able to complete a work well is a way to feel good and less depressed. Make a schedule and ensure that you follow it to the T.
15. Find your zone:
Experts point out that there are four zones in which we work: a reflex zone, a positive zone, a sidetracked zone and waste zone. The best place to be is at the positive zone but keep yourself out of the last two zones. A reflex zone is where you react. The cue here is not to react but to act.
16. Identify the poison:
There can be a poisonous atmosphere surrounding you. You may be humiliated every day for no reason or for a small reason so much that you must be doubting yourself, or you are not given the due respect or you are treated as an unwanted factor. Try to rectify such situations by talking to your employer and wait for a couple of months. Even if by then things do not change, then talk to a mentor or someone who you look up to. He or she can advise if it is worth sticking around or if you should just leave.
17. Plan that vacation you were longing for:
A vacation is not just something that you take as a pastime or a waste of time or money but vacations are a necessary part of your life. Such a break can invigorate your body and mind and refresh you. Taking a break to go on a vacation with family or even alone is one of the best ways to handle depression at work, experts, researchers and psychologists have pointed out this often.
18. Perfection is not always possible:
You are a simple human being and human beings make mistakes. It is also not practical and possible to be perfect always. Remember this and you will feel less depressed.
19. Disappointments are part and parcel of a work routine:
Never take disappointments so seriously that you end up thinking about it all the time. Such situations are bound to arise but develop an attitude to deal with it. Try to work in such a way that even if failures come about, you can rectify them and make them work to your advantage. Remember you are more important than anything else in the world. You are what you are and you are valuable.
20. Forget the past and think only about the present and you will get presents:
Past is history but what matters is present and that is why it is called as ‘present’ or gift. You must have made mistakes in the past but there is no point in dwelling over it by thinking and analyzing it. It is time to move. Learn from your past to create a bright future. If you will develop this attitude, you will find that depression remains at bay.
21. Identify your goal:
Ask yourself as to what is your goal in life and at work. Work towards it and clear all other things. Being focused is one of most effective ways to allay depression at work.
22. Switch off as and when necessary:
Switching off is the best way to deal with depression. It can mean many things. When you are at work, switch off your personal life and when you are at home, do not think of work at all. Switch off your smart phone and laptop during holidays and weekends. You will feel relieved and less stressed.
23. Regard office politics and egos as non-issues:
No matter where you work, you will find egos and personality issues and even gossips. Do not give undue importance to these things and you will not be depressed at work. You will never be able to change others but you can change yourself for the better. As the saying goes, ‘you cannot cover the earth with a carpet, it is better to cover your feet’.
24. Delegate work at home and at work:
As said in one of the earlier points, you are no super human being. Hence it is not possible to deal with everything all alone. So try to delegate work both at home and in office so that you have some time to take a breather.
25. Regard work as just one part of your life and not your life:
Never give too much importance to anything in your life. Work is important in your life but not as important as you. Give priority to yourself as a person, as a mother, as a father or as son or daughter. It does not mean that you neglect work but work should not consume all other roles of yourself.
26. Find a silver lining among dark clouds:
When you feel very gloomy and depressed about work, then sit down and think of some positive sides to your work and then start focusing on what makes you unhappy. Thinking about positive things in life helps you deal with the negative aspects of your life, experts have noted.
27. Find problem-specific solutions:
Find out and list out all the things that make you unhappy or depressed at work. Then write down the possible solutions to each. Deal each problem one thing at a time. That is the best way to deal with problems and hence stay away from depression.
Do spend some time learning some relaxation techniques. It will help you a sea of good. Be it relaxing your shoulders, taking deep breaths, inhalation and exhalation or even meditation, or listening to music. You can try these at work without even anyone noticing you and it will really help reduce your depression or anxiety.
29. Seek help:
If you are unable to handle depression at work even after trying to do so, seek help of a therapist or a counsellor. There are even employee-redressal forums in some offices. Go out and ask for help without feeling guilty or bad about yourself. Everybody needs a helping hand at some point or the other and may be, now it is your turn.
30. Take good care of yourself:
It is important to spend some time with yourself and learn what is that will benefit you as a person. Take care of your health and your likes and dislikes. Spend time at spa, pamper yourself. Take care of your body, mind and soul. When you take such care, then you feel happy about yourself. Depression never touches one who has found ways to be happy. Keep smiling!