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How to Deal With and Overcome Depression on the Job

Everyone has had a feeling of depression during their lives, but for some, it can be an overwhelming obstacle that seems insurmountable. It’s bad enough that you have these feelings, but most of us need to face other requirements at our jobs that can seem to make things worse. Whether it is a demanding boss or a project that requires a lot of focus, what are some of the things we can do to make depression manageable at work?


Currently, depression has a fairly high cost in the U.S., with a price tag of $51 billion dollars each year in sick days and missed work. Depression causes most of us to have a feeling of non-motivation. We simply feel like there is no reason to continue on a work project or it seems overwhelming. It may sound like a cliché, but, a morning walk can help. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, just a brisk walk to get yourself outdoors, amidst nature and get your cardiovascular system moving.

Lack of energy is a major symptom of depression. Most of the time this is due to the fact that you aren’t getting enough of the right kind of sleep. There are some changes that you can make that will help. Make sure that you are on a sleep routine that includes getting to bed early enough and stick with that routine. This will help to ensure that your body clock stays on schedule. Also, natural sunlight exposure helps to generate vitamin D but it also has an effect on when your body clock turns on. The opposite occurs when you are in low lighting; the body begins to wind itself down to tell you it is time to sleep. Lower or dim the lights in your home in early evening. This gives your body the signal and you will start to feel drowsy.

The feeling of being overwhelmed is accentuated when one feels depressed. The lack of the ability to finish the tasks at hand is not uncommon as depression slows the brain processes down. In this age of multi-tasking, you develop the feeling that you not only can’t do a project, but may forget some of the key elements. The answer is to stop the multi-tasking and take one thing at a time. Focus on one project and ignore the others until it is their turn to be addresses.

There are environmental things that you can do to your work environment to help during depression. Try to have fresh flowers or a plant in your work area. I used this as a reason to make a special stop in the morning to buy myself a rose. I kept a vase at my desk and change it out for a fresh one. I also use this as an opportunity to do something good, just for me. Make sure that you have some visuals that might be more positive. In my case, pictures of puppies, kittens and baby animals always make want to smile. If music is one of your positive triggers, make a choice that brings good thoughts and memories. Sometimes soothing music can also help.

While these things will not get rid of depression entirely, they can help you to cope with the situation and accomplish the work that is required of you while you get through the process. Always consult with your primary health provider for any dietary change and if your depression symptoms worsen.


The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.