How To Work With Depression Mental Health
It can be difficult to maintain a steady job while coping with depression. But it’s not impossible. By sitting down and making a plan, you can develop easy to follow coping strategies that will allow you to continue with your current job while also dealing with depression.
Before starting with your plan, it’s important to make a note of the conditions which are most likely to affect your professional life. These include:
- Finding it hard to remain motivated
- Struggling to concentrate
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Losing interest in activities that you previously enjoyed
It’s important to monitor these symptoms — especially at work — because they can have a direct affect on your work. Depending upon their intensity, they can drastically affect your coping strategies.
Some examples of commonly used coping strategies include:
Talking About it
The first step to learning to cope with depression is to acknowledge it. By voicing your problems, you give them shape. By giving them shape, you can understand them and work past them.
The best way of doing this is to find someone you trust — a friend, a family member, or a trusted co-worker — and have a discussion about it with them.You’re more than likely to feel better afterwards, even if they can’t give you any advice. It’s very important that this person be someone mature, someone who will listen to you, and someone who understands you.
If you want to (or feel the need to) speak to a professional, you can do that, too. Speaking to a professional means that your depression is monitored, and you’ll have a wider array of treatment options available to you. Depression is extremely common, and there is no shame in wanting to speak to a professional. You can arrange this through your local GP. Depending on your company’s healthcare plan, you may also have the option of booking this privately for free.
If you’re feeling sensitive or afraid your employer will discover your condition, you shouldn’t. As with any other medical condition, your employer will not be made aware of any illness unless you want them to know.
If you want, you can speak to your boss about your depression. Your employer has a duty of care to make sure that you are not harmed in any way, and they are legally obliged to protect you from any discrimination. However, many people prefer to keep their mental health issues private. This is, of course, your choice. But it’s important to remember that disclosing your illness can offer you protection if symptoms — such as difficulty concentrating — start to interfere with your work.
Taking Time For You
Depression can be exhausting, and it’s only made worse through stress. As part of your coping scheme, you should make sure to try to mitigate that stress. A key part of this is to not get overwhelmed at work and take some time for yourself. This could mean making sure you take your allotted breaks, even when you’re busy. Or it could mean making sure that you leave at the right time every day and not stay late –even if other people are encouraging you to. By finding your own time during the busy work day, you’re creating psychological distance between yourself and the job and insulating yourself. This will lessen your stress level and help with your coping mechanisms.
This is a coping strategy which would be made easier by disclosing your illness to your employer. Your boss should offer you options to make your work day earlier — for example, flexitime — or at least make an effort to lessen your workload.
Find Your Comfort
As part of the wider effort to belay stress, it’s important to make sure that you’re as comfortable as possible at work. This could mean listening to music or a good podcast. Or it could mean moving away from a disruptive coworker. You shouldn’t feel bad about looking for your comfort — you’re entitled to it.
It’s also important to be mindful of your workplace triggers. These are things about your job which trigger stress or depression. Examples of workplace triggers include:
- A high workload
- Being asked to do things outside your competency level
- Sudden changes or difficulty with colleagues
Sometimes you can’t cut out a trigger completely, but it is possible to mitigate their effect — especially if you let your employer know about your illness. For example, your employer may be able to mitigate your workload. Or they might try to insulate you from any sudden or drastic changes in the workplace.
It’s important to take the time to consider your coping strategies and make sure that your strategy works for you. These are only a couple of steps you could take. At Building Better Opportunities, we’re highly experienced helping people stay in work and cope with depression, as well as building confidence and supporting people with anxiety. For more information about how we could help you, contact us today and book your one-to-one appointment.