Work Related Depression: Is Your Job Making Your Miserable?
How much do you love your job?
Are you one of those lucky people who love their job? Do you bounce out of bed in the morning, full of energy and eager to face the challenges that work has to offer? Are you cheerful, and smiling and enjoying everyone you meet? Do you feel stimulated, elated, and satisfied by the work you have to do? Does your work feel like play? Do you feel that you are making a meaningful contribution to society?
No? This doesn’t sound like you? Don’t worry you are not alone.
Perhaps you are one of the millions who are doing the daily grind, to earn a living and feeling weighed down by the hopelessness of your situation?
Is getting out of bed hard for you in the morning? Do you drag yourself into work each day and force the corners of your mouth to lift upwards? Are you unhappy with the work you do or is your boss a milder version of Hitler? Do the people you work with complain all the time and gossip?
Could that mean they gossip about you? Do you feel isolated in your job? Do you find yourself longing to be somewhere else, doing anything but the job you actually have?
If you answered mostly “Yes” to the second scenario, above, then you may be suffering from workplace related depression.
This is known as circumstantial depression, because it is brought on by the circumstances around you.
The good news is that if you had happier circumstances, which in this case means, if you had work you loved, you wouldn’t be depressed!
The bad news is it is not so easy to change jobs these days. It is a possibility though and maybe it might be worth giving the idea some serious consideration. Before you initiate such drastic change, here are some ideas to help you cope so that maybe you won’t need to switch jobs.
Things you can do to improve your workplace experience and decrease your work-related depression
I understand that everyone’s circumstances are different so you might not be in a position to do all of the following. However the more you can do the better you will feel.
Eat a filling and healthy breakfast. This will give your body and mind the fuel it needs to work at its best throughout the morning keeping your mood elevated.
Bring a healthy lunch to work with you and drink plenty of fresh water. Avoid any sugar-laden treats as they can cause a crash in your blood sugar levels leading to a depressed mood.
Walk or cycle to work. The fresh air and exercise will elevate your mood, get your blood circulating, and keep you fit in the long term. You won’t be stuck in traffic jams feeling frustrated. Instead, you can arrive at work already feeling satisfied that you are accomplishing great self-care and fitness levels.
Feel-good endorphins are released when you exercise, making it easier for you to step into the office with a genuine smile on your face.
Pretend everybody you meet is an embodiment of a divine teacher. Imagine that they have something important to teach you. Be grateful for whatever they teach you today, even if that is how to be more patient with them!
If you can, talk to your boss about how you are feeling. Is there room for increased responsibility, more variety, or tasks that are more challenging? If you don’t ask, you won’t know what the answer might be.
Try not to take your work home with you. Leave it at work at the end of the day and do something to nourish yourself in the evening. You need time to decompress and recharge your batteries.
Yoga, mindfulness or meditation can all help to elevate your mood and help you disengage from negative thoughts you may have circling around in your head.
Get enough rest and relaxation.
Rest, relaxation and healthy sleep habits contribute to an increase in happiness. It is important for our mind and our bodies to get enough solid sleep each night in order for us to function at our best. Our bodies need this time to shut down and recuperate from our daily activities. It is also the time that our subconscious mind works through any problems that we have to find solutions.
Engage with friends and make sure you have a social life outside of work, even if you don’t feel like it at first. A sense of being a part of community is crucial to a sense of belonging and connection, all necessary for our mental health to improve.
Laughter makes you feel better, so watch comedies and laugh with friends as often as you can.
Singing is very good for your physical, mental, and emotional health. If you are able to, listen to uplifting music at work to keep you motivated in the right frame of mood.
Some of your work colleagues might not be nice to work with and they might very well be the reason for your unhappiness at work. It pays to understand that we are all on our journey in this lifetime. People act the way they do because of the experiences life has thrown at them. They are responding to life the only way they know how. If we can accept each other for who we are and understand there might be reasons behind someones behavior that we are unaware of. Maybe they have had a troubled life or their partner just left them. It doesn’t really matter what the reason is for their behavior, they are only acting the way they do from their point of understanding. If we can learn to accept that and remove any judgement it makes our own life more enjoyable.
There are ways to feel happier and healthier in your workplace. The small steps you take towards your own well-being will positively affect not only you, but also those around you. Making work a better place for everyone.