3 Tips to Cope with Depression at Work

October 2, 2019 Mahevash Shaikh

How do you cope with depression at work? After all, depression is hard enough to deal with by itself, add a stressful job to the mix and life can get very hard very soon. It is important for any individual with depression who is able to hold down a job to learn some coping mechanisms to help them deal with depression at work. Because just like a natural disaster, a depressive episode can hit you when you are least equipped to handle it. Let's take a look at three healthy coping mechanisms you can use to cope with depression at work. Each one of them has worked for me and I hope they work just as well for you too. 

3 Tips to Cope with Depression at Work

  1. Keep a journal at your desk--Whether you are dealing with situational depression or clinical depression, you may find that keeping a journal to track your episodes can be useful. Personally, I recommend keeping a daily journal so that you are generally aware of the frequency and duration of your depressive episodes. I know that's not easy to do every day—I myself couldn't maintain my journal for more than two months—but it's imperative that you monitor each depressive episode. Doing this has two benefits: one, you are able to vent about your thoughts and feelings, which is otherwise something only those who can afford a therapist can do and, two, once you write about your pain in detail, you will be able to see it in a different, hopefully positive, light. This change in mindset will then motivate you to find ways to relieve your pain.
  2. Know your depression triggers--A depression trigger is any situation or circumstance that causes an episode of depression. In my case, too many tight deadlines and workplace bullying always make me spiral into depression. So I try my best to not take on more work than I can handle. As for the bullying, I refuse to work with clients who are rude and entitled because I know they are potential bullies. Sometimes, this is a very tough decision to make, because some of these clients pay well and as a writer, more money is always a good thing. But I stick to my guns because I know that I'd rather be in a better state of mind than making some extra money. In the rare case that I do take on a problematic client, I do my best to mentally disconnect from them. And as a person who likes to connect with people, this is no mean feat, but I do it somehow.
  3. Spend some quality "me time"--Depression is a condition that makes us want to be by ourselves and this is something you should do in small doses at work. If you are worried about coming across as aloof and rude, you could always pretend to get a phone call and get a few minutes by yourself. Pro tip: Plug in your earphones, put on some calming music, and get yourself some vitamin D by going for a quick walk after lunch. While this may not always help uplift your mood, it is a much better option than socializing with colleagues. Why? Because your energy levels are already low owing to depression. Talking with your colleagues and pretending that everything is normal consumes a lot of emotional energy. Going off by yourself for as little as 10 minutes will help recharge your batteries.

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2019, October 2). 3 Tips to Cope with Depression at Work, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 19 from

Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

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