Every day you wake up, drive to work, sit in an office for eight hours, and drive home. For five days a week it is a lather, rinse, repeat cycle. This is a sample of an average job. Nowadays, more and more jobs are starting to extend themselves outside of the office. Cell phones and laptops make it simple to be connected to our jobs 24/7. You may find yourself answering emails at the dinner table or fielding phone calls from other time zones on the weekends. The piles of work continue to grow, but the deadlines become much closer together. You have no choice but to do what you have to do to get it all done. Or do you?
With growing workplace demands, depression amongst employees has started to become a real epidemic. Signs of depression include feelings of sadness, worthlessness, fatigue, anxiety, and lack of concentration. For a company to operate at its best, it is important for its employees to feel their best. If you are feeling depressed at work, or feel like your employees are suffering, take note of a few suggestions to ease the stress and get back to smiles and productivity.
This may seem like the most basic action, but for many people it is terribly difficult to disconnect from technology. Believe it or not, that email can wait. That phone call can wait. Take your full lunch break to focus on eating and catching up with coworkers, without talking about work! When you clock-out, clock out. Better yet, detach your work email address from your personal devices. Everyone should understand office hours and if they do not, they are probably not adhering to theirs either. It is important to step away from work and recharge. Not only that, but your eyes will thank you for the break from your screens.
2) Family Time
Family is an important aspect of everyone’s life, whether your “family” are those who are blood related or your closest friends. Often when work gets hectic, plans with family and friends fall by the wayside. This is unfortunate, as these are the times when you are really able to be yourself and let loose – a key to personal health. When your schedule gets so busy, you may find that your sense of self becomes lost, which is one aspect of depression.
On the topic of holding onto your sense of self comes hobbies. A hobby can be something as simple as perfecting the perfect cup of coffee, to reading and crafting, to joining a community athletic team. No matter what your hobby is, make sure to schedule the time each week to indulge. Even if it is thirty minutes a day reading a book, make it the most important thirty minutes of the day. If you have trouble committing to your own hobbies, use your planner or calendar to schedule the time and stick to it like it is a doctor’s appointment. You matter.
One of the greatest mood-boosters is exercise. If working out or some form of physical activity is not already in your rotation, make room! Whatever your preference, exercise increases dopamine, making you feel amazing by the time you are finished, leaving your head clear and your energy high. If you work in an office or inside a small cubicle all day long you may be suffering from a bit of cabin fever that is fueling a depressive state. At the very least, make a point to get up and walk around every hour or so to get your blood flowing. Every small step counts! The human body reacts very negatively to staying in one position for too long. In fact, it can add to the lethargy you may be feeling. A little movement goes a long way.
5) Diet Change
Sometimes, depression can stem from the food we eat. On more than one occasion you may find yourself living off of vending machine food and snack bars if you are working later. This is no type of nutrition for a sound mind and body. As they say, “you are what you eat”. If you are in for a particularly long day, plan ahead. Pack nutritious foods that cover all of your basic needs: carbohydrates, proteins, fruits, and veggies. Allow yourself to snack throughout the day. When your body is looking for a little help, you may feel tired and less productive. An apple and some peanut butter may be just what you need.
Depression has become so common in the workplace, businesses are noticing a decline in productivity. Not only that, but depression can lead to many employees quitting their jobs. It is important to find a work-life balance that allows for rest and reinvention. “You cannot give from an empty cup “, as the saying goes. Take the time to make time for yourself. We are all just human beings, no matter the jobs we are doing, and we all deserve to live with clear, joyful minds.
By Alyson Monaco
Alyson is a published writer, expert in health and fitness, and professional dancer hailing from New Jersey. Her love of how the body works began through early dance training, which lead to a major in Dance at internationally renowned Boston Conservatory. Aside from movement studies, she was trained extensively in kinesiology, anatomy, and nutrition. These would only aid in her pursuit of both Group Fitness and Personal Training certifications through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)/National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Alyson has been actively working as a fitness instructor, Personal Trainer, and nutrition coach since 2013 and has been writing on her areas of expertise since 2016. She loves working one on one with people of all ages and ability, and truly enjoys helping people find a better quality of life.
If you are interested in talking to Dan about CLE eligible trainings he offers law firms, call him at (716) 913-6309 or via our contact form. One-on-one coaching is also available for lawyers who need individualized attention. Go to Dan’s website Yourdepressioncoach.com to download his free book and schedule a consultation.