7 Tips to Cope With Depression At Work

August 29, 2022
4 mins read
7 Tips to Cope With Depression At Work
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Your job is an integral part of your life. Depression is difficult to manage on your own, and work pressures added on top of it might exacerbate depression.

Several factors, including physical, psychological, and genetic ones, as well as environmental, social, and even seasonal ones, can contribute to the complex condition of depression. One of these elements could be the workplace. Whether you work at home or in an office, depression can take a toll on your emotional health.

This article offers tips on how to cope with depression at work so you can save your career and your sanity. 

7 Tips to Cope With Depression At Work
7 Tips to Cope With Depression At Work

How You Can Deal with Depression When You’re at Work

Try these tips if you’re struggling with depression at work. They are not meant to be a solution, but they might offer coping mechanisms if you struggle with depression at work.

1. Recognize the Symptoms of Depression

Determine the areas that are problematic first. Do you have difficulties concentrating? Deadlines not being met? Are you avoiding discussions with coworkers? Do you find it difficult to care about anything? Is your fatigue or irritability making it impossible to get anything done?

Once you know the issues, you can create a strategy and set small goals to help you get through the day.

Work activities are a means to an end, so if you can pinpoint your objectives — whether they are as simple as retiring to bed at the end of the day, interacting with your friends, or something more significant like regaining your footing – consider the measures you must take to get there.

Just be sure to set reasonable objectives for yourself to avoid demoralizing yourself.

Before you find the ideal balance of small and big tasks that you can complete without experiencing overload or burnout could take some trial and error.

2. Create a ‘to-do’ list and break your task into small ones

Divide your tasks into small manageable pieces to increase your focus and concentration. Take a five-minute break to relax and recharge after finishing a task section before moving on to the following. Additionally, completing these minor activities will satisfy you and increase your motivation.

3. Lead a healthy lifestyle

Self-care is crucial at all times. Consume a nutritious diet that includes a range of foods. Schedule time for physical activity and exercise. According to studies, regular exercise may help to reduce symptoms of depression along with antidepressants.

Exercise increases endorphins, which can improve your mood. The same brain chemical is what several antidepressants work to stimulate, and exercise and sunshine are natural mood boosters.

To lessen the severity of your depression, stay away from substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana, and try to sleep for seven hours or more every night.

4. Take a break to unwind 

It might be challenging to manage depression symptoms at work. But you can take a short break from work to unwind:

  • Take a 10-minute break from work and watch a funny video instead.
  • Go outside during your lunch break, at the office, or at home.
  • Take a little stroll during a break; exercise is excellent for mental health, even if it’s indoors.
  • Spend a few minutes meditating in the present moment.
  • Do breathing exercises throughout the day.
  • Separate your workspace from the rest of the house.
  • Make a call to a close friend.
How to manage anxiety and depression at work. Courtesy, YouTube.

5. Seek medical help

Consult a doctor if self-help strategies don’t help to reduce depression symptoms. The doctor will prescribe therapy, medication, or a combination of both based on your mental health condition. 


The methods used in psychotherapy vary. Many therapists who treat depression have a specific area of expertise. Still, they occasionally combine other approaches to produce a more customized therapy focused on your unique treatment requirements.

Since there are numerous varieties of psychotherapy, one study sought to identify the ones most successful for treating depression. According to research, each of the following yields positive outcomes.

Relationship Therapy

The foundation of interpersonal therapy is the notion that relationships can impact depression. The purpose of this kind of therapy is to assist you in developing better communication and conflict-resolution skills in your relationships. Sessions for interpersonal treatment typically last between 12 and 16 weeks.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of talk therapy, is to assist you in altering any unhelpful thought or behavior patterns that might be causing or escalating your depression. This treatment is typically brief and concentrates on teaching new coping mechanisms for dealing with your current issues.

Social Skills Development

You can develop healthy connections by learning how to communicate with people more effectively through social skills training. The objective is to enhance communication abilities and learn how to forge solid social connections with people.

Psychodynamic Therapy

The kind of therapy that is frequently portrayed in the media or popular culture is psychodynamic therapy. You discover how your depression could be connected to the past, unsolved issues, or open wounds throughout these therapy sessions. To go on with your life, the therapist will assist you in addressing these problems.

Behavioral Activation

You can learn how to set objectives and include more enjoyable activities in your daily life through behavioral activation. Avoiding solitude and increasing your interaction with your environment are the main objectives of this therapy. It might have lessened your depressive symptoms if you were more active and participated in more enjoyable activities.

Problem-Solving Therapy

The goal of problem-solving therapy is to identify your most important problems and then to help you brainstorm several solutions. Your therapist assists you in making the most significant decision by helping you weigh all your options.


A wide range of drugs can reduce the symptoms of depression. Here are a few types of medication your doctors may prescribe:

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors 
  • Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors 
  • Norepinephrine and Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants, Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

6. Continue your medical treatment

You must adhere to your provider’s recommended course of treatment if you’re seeing a therapist or psychiatrist. You must follow your doctor’s instructions if you’re taking depression medication. Never discontinue taking medicine without first consulting your psychiatrist.

You don’t have to worry about the mental health care treatment cost. Group health plans and health insurance providers must offer mental health benefits in addition to medicines under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. This may help to lower the cost of therapy and counseling before or after work.

You are also not obligated to attend in-person treatment if you choose not to. Several online mental health providers accept insurance. Additionally, they help you incorporate therapy into your hectic workday.

7. Opt for a flexible work schedule

Ask your company if they can make your schedule more flexible. Starting a little later might help reduce work anxiety, as depression sometimes interferes with sleep.

According to research, flexible scheduling boosts workplace efficiency. So that you can give each day your all, ask your employer how you can come up with a strategy that works for both of you.

Final Thoughts

For many people, depression at work is difficult. Self-care and daily routine adjustments may be helpful, but for long-term depression management, you must speak with your doctor or a therapist. Without help, depression symptoms may get worse

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Dr. Joann Mundin

Dr. Joann Mundin is a board-certified psychiatrist who has been in practice since 2003. She is a Diplomate with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a Fellow with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Currently associated with Mindful Values, she provides assessments and treatment for patients with severe mental illness.

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Randy Withers, LCMHC

Reviewed for accuracy by Randy Withers, MA, NCC, LCMHC, LCAS. Licensed Therapist and Managing Editor of Blunt Therapy

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