If you feel long-term causes of stress at work have led to you feeling physical and emotional exhaustion, you may be experiencing depression. A few common signs of depression include:

  • A negative or cynical outlook
  • Loss of enthusiasm, creativity, and purpose
  • Feeling tired or drained most of the time
  • Difficulty getting to sleep
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Physical symptoms, such as headaches or tense muscles
  • Taking longer to complete tasks, or a sudden drop in performance.

Encourage your employees to:

1) Reduce procrastination.

To put it simply, procrastination is when you voluntarily put off doing a task, despite the knowledge that this could impact you negatively in the future. The task can be anything, from cleaning the house, to writing an essay or scheduling a meeting at work.

Although avoiding the task feels preferable in the short term, in the long term it can make you feel more stressed. Procrastinating every now and then is normal, but when we develop a habit of continually avoiding tasks so that they pile up, this can affect our wellbeing.  

2) Make a to-do list.

Make a plan for the week or for the next few days. If this seems too overwhelming, try separating your day by morning, afternoon and evening instead. You could prioritise your tasks and write realistic deadlines next to them if you think that will help, taking care not to overload each day. Scheduling time for your tasks, and rearranging if things crop up, will mean that you’re more likely to complete them. Ticking them off can also give you a sense of accomplishment which will encourage you to continue being productive.

3) Reward yourself for making progress.

When you complete a task, make sure that you take the time to reward yourself by doing something that you enjoy. Maybe that’s watching an episode of a TV show, calling a friend or going for a walk. You’ll enjoy these things even more without the stress of the task hanging over you.    Challenge any negative thinking and avoid overthinking. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) reminds us that our thoughts are very often not an accurate reflection of the situation itself, but of how we perceive it.  Look at the evidence and the facts objectively, imagining what a judge would say in court when presented with them. For example, are you really that bad at everything you do at work, or do you do a pretty good job most of the time?

4) Break tasks down into manageable steps.

If you’re faced with a big task, like writing a dissertation or completing house work, you may feel intimidated by the amount of work that needs to be done and not know where to start. Try breaking the task down into stages that you can complete gradually. This will help the project to seem more manageable, as all of the smaller steps will eventually add up.

5) Prioritise and resist perfectionism. Setting unrealistically high expectations for yourself can lead to unnecessary pressure which can maintain depression. 

If you feel like you’ve got a lot on your plate, drop the ‘shoulds’ to the bottom of the list and prioritize the ‘musts’. Aim to do your best and learn that mistakes can happen, but they can also be dealt with and it is not necessarily a catastrophe.  ‍

Seek professional help.

If you find that depression is affecting your mental wellbeing, or you’re stuck in a negative cycle, it could be time to seek professional help. IC Therapies offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Psychotherapy IPT which are both proven treatment approaches that helps you to manage your mental health, challenge unhelpful thoughts and develop more helpful coping strategies.  Contact IC Therapies today

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