Handling Work Depression

Handling Work Depression

Depression is a major mental health issue in our country today, and it is increasingly becoming a workplace concern.  A recent study found that nearly one in six cases of depression are caused by work stress.
The U.S. Department of Health also reported that 70% of physical and mental complaints at work are related to stress. Failing to return phone calls, turning in low-quality work, missing deadlines, arriving late, and not getting along with co-workers all consist of problems that could stem from depression.  What should you do? The following techniques can help you manage your workplace blues:

1)    Don’t immediately throw in the towel.  The chances are higher that you will feel worse if you quit than if you continue a job that you don’t enjoy.  Your anxiety can increase when you think
about paying the bills and living the same kind of life without a receiving a regular paycheck.  Keep on reading before
you give your two-week notice. 

2)    Practice calming techniques.  Take ten deep breaths, counting to four as you inhale.  Listening to calming music while you work.  Consider taking a yoga or tai chi class, both proven to reduce stress levels, to help you focus on yourself rather than what’s bothering you at work. 

3)    Unplug and Recharge.  It’s probably unrealistic to expect
anyone in this day and age to turn off his or her cell phone while they’re not at work.  Try to save all work-related emails and phone calls for the office, and focus on family and friends while at home. 

4)    Improve your working conditions.  Putting a nice plant in your cubicle or office, adding framed photos, and keeping a clean desk can all help make you remember what really matters to you at the end of the day and can keep you from feeling overwhelmed. 

5)    Get a life outside of work.  Avoid investing all of your self-esteem in work.  Participate in outside activities such as book groups, activities at a child’s school, and exercise classes.  Finding something you really enjoy outside of the office can help lessen the blow when you’re having a bad workday.   

Your Employee Relations Program, Magellan Health, has resources and experience to help you with more information. Visit www.magellanhealth.com or call 1-877-704-5696 for more information, referrals and support.

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About Rebecca Sampson

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