Self-Help Tips to Manage Depression at Work

Author: Nipsy Jhamb | Categories: HR Management

It’s natural to experience burnout once in a while at work. It could be due to a challenging project at hand, a steep target that you are chasing to achieve, or it could be due to a nagging boss or a co-worker. However, if it becomes a chronic condition, so much so that you begin to feel helpless, worthless, find it difficult to focus on work, or spend more time crying than keeping yourself composed – it could be that you’re suffering from depression at work.

Yes, unfortunately, many professionals are today fighting this monster and the worse is that they are fighting it alone. It isn’t that they have no support; rather, it is that many do not even recognize the early signs and end up struggling to come out of a condition they do not know about.

Before we get into the details of workplace anxiety and stress and how it is affecting professionals worldwide, here are a few quick facts on depression at work:

  • 72 percent of people who were interviewed admitted to having daily stress and anxiety.

  • Three-fourths of those interviewed confessed that their personal life was affected due to the stress.

  • Not more than one third of them talked about their condition with their employers.

(The above stats have been sourced from Anxiety and Depression Association of America.)

So, how does this condition set in? And, how can one recognize it before it’s late?

Key identifiers of workplace anxiety and depression

To recognize the condition, look around you to see if someone is battling these signs – it could be anybody, including you.

  • Loss of motivation at work – incomplete tasks and missed deadlines

  • Sudden increase in the number of sick days

  • Change in the social behavior (sudden aggression/ withdrawal)

  • Spending extra time on tasks, very unlike how it was earlier

  • Binge eating or severe loss of appetite

  • Resorting to alcohol or smoking

  • Lack of sleep resulting in fatigue/ tiredness throughout the day

People in depression are unaware of what is happening around them. These individuals are constantly hungry for attention; but when not received, they detach themselves from the world. They consider themselves worthless, without having a purpose or aim in life. This further leads them deeper into the condition and turns life upside down. In a way it sucks the life out of a person and drains him completely.

Why are professionals struggling with stress, anxiety, depression?

The current generation is extensively connected through social media, but this is not a real connection. They live on ‘likes’, ‘shares’, and ‘comments’ of others. They give too much importance to the ‘virtual life’, which leaves a void in the ‘real life’. There is a delusion that everything is fine, but deep within there is restlessness, which doesn’t let individuals live peacefully. This missing element of real connection makes them lonely even when surrounded by near ones. Many people complain about their lives as they see people around traveling, earning big paychecks, and living flamboyantly – assuming that they are all content with their lives. They contemplate that their own life is miserable. This feeling makes them more vulnerable and prone to this condition.

All of these along with severe stress and anxiety at work drive professionals to the depressed state.

Effective ways to help a person sail out of the crisis

Listed below are some effective ways that will assist you to get out of this mess. Remember, help is all around – you’ve got to reach out to the right people. If you feel you are battling any (or more than one) of the signs as mentioned above, do the below:

  • First and foremost get help from a therapist or a support group that will help you cope with your symptoms. This, in turn, will help you manage your professional life. While the healing time may differ from person to person, approaching a therapist in itself will work wonders.

  • Find a trusted friend, ideally at work. There are trying times when you need someone to lean on or in front of whom you can pour your heart out. A friend at work can help you face your insecurities boldly.

  • The next important step is clearly setting your goals. Depression prevents you from focusing on work. Hence, you need to set clear goals so you can concentrate on achieving one at a time. This will give you a sense of fulfillment and make you worry less.

  • Believe in the power of dressing up well – power dress. Unsure how this will help? Well, this works right from the word go! Recall an instance when someone at your workplace (someone with whom you probably hardly converse) complimented you for your dressing sense. How did you feel about it? Did it not simply make your day? Power dressing makes you confident, which in itself can take help you forget your woes and focus better at work.

  • Another workaround is to organize yourself better. Reach your workplace a few minutes before the regular time so you can organize the space around you. Plan your day in advance and prioritize your work. Not only will this prepare you for the day ahead, it will also make you confident and ready you to face any problems.

  • This is the most significant step and yet the one that is mostly ignored. One can’t stress enough on the importance of work-life balance. While in the fast-paced and overly competitive life that we are living, it is difficult to maintain a balance – squeezing out time to pursue a hobby, spending time with family, etc., alone can help you break away from the mundane. Disconnect from the ‘busy-ness’ once in a while and revitalize yourself. You’ll soon get over your depressed state.

These self-help tips can assist you to manage your stress at workplace and help you relax. Nonetheless, should you still find it difficult to manage it, don’t miss to approach a therapist. Anxiety can lead to severe issues unless tackled timely – therefore, pay attention to the signs you (or someone at your workplace) are struggling with and seek help instantly.