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12 Best Ideas For Overcoming Depression At Work

10 min read
Last Updated on 21 February, 2024

Overcoming depression is not as hard as you think. It's a one-step at a time process. Although depression is a result of a complex interaction of biological, social, and psychological factors, it can be prevented.

With depression, things become more challenging, and it makes you lousy and spiritless. Similarly, experiencing depression at the workplace isn't that remarkable. It can create losses at various levels.

Today, we are all aware that mental health needs to be taken care of as soon as it is identified. There are numerous ways that you can treat it. In this blog, we shall discuss in detail about overcoming depression.

Symptoms of Depression-

At the time of depression, a person goes through the recess of their subconscious mind. Scientists say depression is also a significant contributor to the overall global burden of disease. Often women are found to be more affected than men.

A major depressive episode is defined generally as experiencing these symptoms in everyday life:

  • Irritation and mood swings
  • Sleeping problems
  • Change of interests or lack of interest and low motivation
  • Guilt and low self-image
  • Low energy and shift in the self-care process
  • Lack of concentration
  • Changes in appetite
  • Agitation or anxiety/panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts, self-harming plans, or behaviors

While some common signs of depression at work include:

  • Delaying work
  • Postponding deadlines
  • Lack of focus
  • Fatigue
  • Missing work
  • Frequently extending deadlines
  • Showing inactiveness
  • Distracted or restless
  • Morale conflicts
  • Trouble in decision-making
  • Unexplained leaves

Facts that you Need To Know

It would be best if you remembered that you are not alone in this battle of fighting against depression.

According to WHO, depression affects more than 264 million people. It is hard for some people with depression to find all the resources they need; consider a poor farmer in that case.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , 16 million American adults suffer from depression, with most of those individuals in their prime working years, which is about 32.5 years old.

People still perceive depression as a social stigma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020, depression became the second most common health problem, considering the global pandemic and loss of jobs and declining health worldwide.

Depression can be considered an outcome of trauma. The way one responds to trauma includes shattering beliefs about self, dreams, future, or others. A recent article on Forbes confirmed that millennials are suffering more than ever before from depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.

12 Tips for Overcoming Depression at Work

There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn't.
- John Green..

Every organization must keep resources for their employees who need help with mental or behavioral health issues. Having such assistance programs promises a positive work culture.

Here are a few tips for overcoming depression both on an organizational and individual level:

1. Know your Trigger


It is essential to recognize the difference between a false alarm and an actual alarm. An example of a false alarm can include an event; where your body and brain responds before an important presentation at work. When suddenly your heartbeat becomes faster, anxiousness hits you, and you keep thinking about what can possibly go wrong during the presentation.

But, in that case, you can always buckle up, think reasonably and give the presentation confidently despite freaking out. So, it is vital to understand these are not actual alarms of depression. An example of a real warning can be when you tend to miss your presentation day or avoid any such events at work due to your continuous stress, anxiety, and wellbeing issues.
Therefore, know your triggers and take action accordingly.

2. Find your Inner Strength


When you start believing in yourself, you also start feeling less distressed. Whenever you encounter thoughts like, 'I can never do it or get through this,'; try to remember your previous incidents in life where you beat the odds, and you got through difficult situations.

The journey of finding your inner strength has become an utmost priority of the 21st-century fuss. Finding your inner power allows you to control intrusive thoughts and images by reassuring hope.

Embracing the present and accepting the challenges is a part of life's journey. So, keep reminding yourself how strong you're and how far you have come. Well, six years from now, your life will be different if you make sure of your wellbeing today.

Certainly, keep reminding yourself of these four facts to lift your inner spirit:

  • You're stronger than you think.
  • You can handle whatever hurdle comes before you.
  • Only you can control and manage your thoughts.
  • You have faith in yourself and keep track of your achievements rather than failures.

3. Make a List of To-Do Things


Always remember, self-compassion is more potent than self-criticism.
It will help if you focus on your goals, happiness, wisdom, mental-physical strength, and self-worth. Focusing on these characteristics will make you a better person. They will help you become mentally strong and make you both personally and professionally a successful person.

Here's a list of things that you must practice:

  • Stop wasting energy on something that you can't control.
  • Do not hesitate to take calculated risks.
  • Stop making a big fuss about the past.
  • Learn from your mistakes.
  • Fix your adaptability to change.
  • Never allow someone else to control your thoughts.
  • Be honest with yourself.
  • You can't make everyone happy.
  • Learn to enjoy your own company.
  • Be a participant in other's success.

4. Practicing Intellectual Wellness


Intellectual wellness helps you overcome depression by encouraging everyday learning. It ignites your cognitive abilities to explore new ideas and understand things better to become more mindful at work.

Emphasizing your intellectual wellness will inspire your mind to new prospects and possibilities. It will stimulate curiosity and make you a better performer. Concentration sets employees up for success, and intellectual growth determines it.

If you keep yourself mentally active, there is a little scope for cynicism to overshadow your success. Mental stimulation has a lifelong benefit as it allows you to seek out things that motivate you and keep you engaged at work for the long run.

5. Start a Self-Care Routine


Whenever we are stressed, the first thing we do is self-care. Either we go out shopping, buy ourselves our favorite dessert, or pamper ourselves in many other forms. But is self-care only about fulfilling your material needs?

No matter how much you try to convince yourself with temporal elements, we cannot overcome stress without inner soul settlement. Adapting unspiritual measures will push us more into the trench of depression.

So, to overcome depression, you must practice a few deep-rooted methods of cleansing your inner self. Try to make a list of mood boosters every week where you can also include the following:

  • A 7 minutes workout every morning
  • Gardening is a form of therapy that can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Journaling is a CBT technique that can be very helpful in the long-run
  • Practicing mindful eating
  • Try sound therapy
  • Traveling
  • You can take up cooking classes
  • Taking up new hobbies

One method of overcoming depression is simply acknowledging that 'it is a common human experience,' which will eventually lessen your mental burden and keep you relaxed and calm.

Related: 18 Lesser-Known Stress Relief Activities & Ideas for Office

6. Employee Assistance

In general, Employee Assistance Programs boost productivity and wellness. And they are strictly confidential. A company must offer EAPs with mental health professionals on board for those in need at little or no cost. EAP counselors provide specialized treatments and bits of advice for employees going through mental health issues.

The issues might include:

  • Personal issues related to family or relationship
  • Depression
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Emotional coping mechanisms
  • Anger
  • Burn-outs
  • Work-related stress
  • Substance use
  • Traumatic incidents
  • Conflict
  • Grief and anxiety
  • Wellbeing or other related matters like work performances

HR can also offer free cognitive behavioral therapy or counseling every month for employees in need.

7. Seek Help from a Co-worker


A friend in need is a friend indeed.
- Proverb.

If you are not comfortable asking for therapy sessions from the office or talking to HR, you can always reach out to your closest co-worker/friend.

Sometimes seeking help from a friend at work can be stupendous. After all, comfort zone matters in case you want to open up or share your feelings. Ensure that they are the best person to share your thoughts/feelings and ask yourself if it has been helpful.

Those dealing with depression can also reach out to family members for assistance.

8. A Friendly Workplace


A positive work environment does not seek mental health issues as a taboo. In a hostile work culture, people view employees undergoing mental health issues as incapable of doing their jobs. They are also being refrained from helping the team as they are judged incompetent or seldom left uninvited to office parties.

But, a friendly workplace implies organizations that are free of these stereotypical notions. They allow one to speak out if an employee needs to take more time off for mental health or any related issues from the employer.

It is depression and not lack of interest in work that sometimes causes absenteeism, presenteeism, or productivity issues; every HR must look into such aspects. Thus, organizations must ensure that employees have an excellent work culture.

9. Mindfulness Meditation


With the help of mindfulness meditation, you can know yourself inside out. It is an ancient practice to stay happy. It reduces your suffering and makes you more lively.

You can try 30 minutes guided meditation techniques. Even practicing for 15 minutes can help you relax after a hectic day at the office. Such meditation techniques drain your negative energy and increase your focus.

The most significant advantage of mindful meditation is that you can practice it anywhere and at any time, even at work.

Related: 105 Mindfulness Quotes For Employees Health And Wellness

10. Reading


Reading is a vital habit for every successful businessperson. It broadens your mind, helps with your written and verbal communication skills, and gives you a certain level of understanding and empathy.
- Ellen Parry Lewis.

A book can be one's best friend even in the toughest of times. You can find all the answers that you have been looking for to overcome depression once and for all.
Reading endorses the path of new possibilities and learning. It lends a hand to explore, cultivate, and ignite your mind. And, it also stumps you to stay mindful and attain more significant potential on a personal, professional, or spiritual level.

Here is a list of books that might help you:

  • "Depression-Free, Naturally: 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue, and Anger from Your Life" by Joan Mathews-Larson.
  • "Ikigai: The Japanese secret to Long and Happy Life" by Hector Garcia and Frances Miralles.
  • "The Art of Happiness" by Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler.
  • "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain" by Eric Hagerman and John J. Ratey.
  • "Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: 7 Ways to Freedom from Anxiety, Depression, and Intrusive Thoughts" by Lawrence Wallace.
  • "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression" by Andrew Solomon.

HR can create a small library in the workplace for those who want to read during breaks.

11. Practicing Compassion


Cultivating compassion is vital in your day-to-day life. It brings a sense of fulfillment and a feeling of contentment. It establishes a state of mind that practices empathy and a sense of closeness with others, be it humans, animals, or nature.
A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders shows that mindfulness-based compassion living skills reduce chronic or recurrent depression.

In the Tibetan language, the term compassion implies being in a state of mind that can include a wish for good things. Developing compassion can help reduce negative emotions and build mutual respect at work. Optimism and resilience are the keys through which one can learn to become more compassionate and make generous contributions to society.

Therefore, compassion can be the best practice at work. It can help employees to be less self-centered and spread joy by accepting both success and failure. In short, it can help overcome various mental health issues, including depression.

Read our blog on: 21 Positive Thinking Ideas For A Workplace To Encourage

12. Workplace Games


Stress and anxiety are common occurrences at work. But, new research suggests that playing video games at work may actually help reduce stress. Playing games can be fun as it triggers the release of endorphins. It relieves stress and promotes wellbeing.

A 2010 study at Texas A&M by Associate Professor Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson revealed that both men and women who play aggressive video games seem to have better skills to handle stress and become less depressed. Also, a study at University College in London in 2014, wherein the researchers surveyed 491 subjects. They found a relation between the total number of hours spent playing games (primarily first-person shooters and action games) per week and overall recovery from work-related stress that day.

Here is a list of workplace games you can use to overcome depression and bring your teammates closer:

  • Board games- ludo, chess, Chinese checker, hive, etc
  • Puzzles
  • What's the saying
  • Guess the song
  • Reminiscing, etc

Bottom Line

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
- Confucius.

Often mental health leaves the worst impact on physical health. The best way to get rid of such psychological symptoms is by accepting them and allowing them to pass. Do not get caught in the dilemma of being depressed or compare your current situation with other fellow beings. Therefore, do not let depression take over your physical as well as mental peace.

Besides, mental strength, honing and highlighting strength, rewarding and appreciating, fostering solid bonds or relationships are the core elements of a good workplace. Just make sure your workplace has it all. And, you don't forget to go through the above techniques or tips; otherwise, depression can worsen.

This article is written by Parismita Goswami who is a content writer and marketer at Vantage Circle. A feverish poet and cinephile with an intense taste for music, specifically rock, she has the heart of an explorer, learner, and is a lover of the Himalayas. To get in touch, reach out to

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