16 things you can do to improve your workplace experience and decrease your work-related depression

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Depression at work

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 life, 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?

Perhaps you are one of the millions who are doing the daily grind, to earn a crust 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 the office each day, forcing a smile through gritted teeth? Are you unhappy with the work you do? Is your boss a miserable task master? Do people at work crate a working environment of gossip and speculation to pass the day? 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 this second scenario, then you may be suffering from a toxic workplace related depression.

We often call this environmental 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. It is a possibility though and it maybe 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.

16 things you can do to improve your workplace experience and decrease your work-related depression

1. Eat a healthy breakfast. This will give your mind the fuel it needs to work at its best throughout the morning.

2. Bring a healthful lunch to work with you and drink plenty of water. Avoid the sugar-laden pops from the vending machine: they can cause a crash in your blood sugar levels leading to a depressed mood.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Pretend that everyone at work has something important to teach you, even if it is not how to be. Be grateful for whatever they teach you today, even if that is how to be more patient with them!

6. Talk to your boss about how you are feeling. Is there room for increased responsibility, a new role, more variety, or tasks that are more challenging? If you don’t ask, you won’t know what the answer might be.

7. Bring plants in and keep them watered. Plants add to the oxygen in the atmosphere and keep the air fresher.At least there will be one thing living in the office other than you.

8. 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.

9. Yoga, mindfulness or meditation can all help to elevate your mood and help you disengage from negative thoughts you may have circling around and around in your head.

10. Get enough rest and relaxation. Consider a power nap if your work environment is suitable.

11. Sleep. Healthy sleep habits contribute to an increase in happiness.

12. Engage with friends and make sure you have a social life, 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.

13. Laughter makes you feel better, so watch comedies, go to laughter yoga, and laugh with friends. Look out for podcasts and audiobooks.

14. Singing is very good for your physical, mental, and emotional health. You might consider joining one of the non-auditioned community choirs, which are more about connection and fun than they are about performance.

15. Consider reading as this can be a great distraction. A good book can take you into alternate worlds.

16. Spend time with your pets; watch their habits and quirks.

These are just a few ways to feel happier and healthier in your workplace through your own self care and resilience building. These small steps can you take towards improving your own well-being and may even positively affect those around you. It might even make the workplace better place for everyone.

At Citizen Counselling and Coaching a number of our counsellors and coaches can provide support around depression and low mood. This can include identifying the obstacles overcoming depression, creating practical plans and advice through sharing techniques and models that have worked for others.

Our ‘My Depression Coach’ online programme and Coaching were designed for time poor busy people looking to increase their confidence and make a positive change in their lives.

Our Overcoming Depression page can explain more.