Depression is never an easy thing to deal with, but it can be especially challenging to bring depression to the workplace. Of course, most people don’t have a choice: They need to work to make a living, and their depression isn’t something they can just check at the door. The question is, what can you do to manage your depression systems, not allowing them to compromise your workplace performance?
Coping with Depression in the Workplace
Only tell who you want to tell. Some may find it helpful to talk about their depression, confiding in a manager or in a co-worker. Others might prefer to keep it private. We’d recommend talking about your depression if you think it will be helpful, but don’t feel obligated to share it with anyone. Ultimately, it’s your business.
Check into HR. If you tell anyone, you might make it the HR person who can potentially connect you with resources offered through the workplace insurer, or else let you know about flexible workplace policies that can help you cope.
Take mental health breaks. If you need to leave the office for a few minutes to take a walk or clear your head, by all means do so. A little sunshine or physical exertion can go a long way, and a simple change of scenery can mean a lot.
Stay in therapy. If you’ve been seeing a therapist or counselor about your depression, make that an ongoing priority—and ask your therapist about coping mechanisms and tools you can use when you’re at work.
Get small goals for yourself. One of the best ways to get through your day is to set some small goals for yourself—allowing yourself little wins throughout your time at work. Try thinking step-by-step instead of getting caught up in the big picture.
Depression doesn’t have to keep you from a healthy and fulfilling professional life. Talk with your therapist about more ways to manage your symptoms when you’re at work.