Help Yourself

You’re at work. You’re surrounded by people, but you feel alone. You’re tired, but you can’t sleep. You’re anxious, but you can’t focus. You’re sad, but you put on a brave face. 

If this sounds like you, then you might be struggling with depression at work.

Depression is a serious mental illness that can have a profound effect on every aspect of your life—including your work life.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 21.2 million adults in the United States suffer from depression. Of those adults, 6.7% said that their condition limited their ability to work. 

If you’re struggling with depression at work, know that you’re not alone and there are things you can do to help yourself. Here are four tips:

Talk to Someone 

If you’re feeling depressed at work, the first thing you should do is talk to someone about it. This could be a friend, family member, therapist, or doctor. Talking about how you’re feeling will help you relieve some of the pressure and might give you some much-needed perspective. It’s also important to have someone to talk to so that they can help keep an eye on your symptoms and offer support when needed. 

Make Some Changes 

If your job is causing your depression or making it worse, then it might be time to make some changes. This could mean looking for a new job, switching to a different department within your company, or changing up your daily routine. Sometimes, even small changes can make a big difference in how you feel. 

Take Care of Yourself 

When you’re struggling with depression, it’s important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. This means eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and taking breaks when needed. Taking care of yourself will help improve your mood and give you the energy you need to get through the day. 

Seek Professional Help 

If your symptoms are severe or aren’t improving with self-care and lifestyle changes, then it might be time to seek professional help. There are many different treatment options available—such as therapy and medication—so talk to your doctor about what would be best for you. Getting professional help is nothing to be ashamed of and can make a world of difference in how you’re feeling.

How to Find Meaning in Your Work

If you’re not sure how to find meaning in your work, here are a few suggestions: 

  • Take some time to reflect on why you got into this line of work in the first place. What were your motivations? What were your goals? Has anything changed since then? 
  • Talk to your employees or customers and ask them what they think your business does well. It’s always eye-opening to see how others perceive your business and what they value most about it. 
  • Spend some time brainstorming ways that your business could have a positive impact on others. For example, could you donate part of your proceeds to charity? Could you create a scholarship program? Could you start working with eco-friendly suppliers? 
  • Keep a journal and write down your thoughts and reflections on a regular basis. This is a great way to process everything that’s going on and gain clarity on what’s important to you.

So often in life, we get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and we forget why we’re doing what we’re doing. But it’s so important to take some time out regularly—even if it’s just a few minutes each day—to connect with the deeper meaning of our work. When we have a sense of meaning in what we do, it gives us a sense of purpose. And that sense of purpose is incredibly motivating; it can help us push through challenging times and come out stronger on the other side.

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