Stress induced depression usually comes about as a result of putting in too much effort for too long and for very little return. Faced with a mountain of work you try to deal with it all. Then, when you feel it’s getting you down, you push even harder. When you get home you can’t power down. You go to bed still thinking of what’s not been done and what’s coming next. This happens to you day after day. Guess where it all leads?
If you don’t want to get ill there’s really only one solution and that’s to change the way you operate. Taking pills or drinking booze simply papers over the cracks and may even speed up the downward spiral. More sustainable and healthy options are right in front of you, but you have to reach out for them. I think you should adopt all seven of the following but if you’d prefer to approach them in a different way that’s up to you of course.
Worry is often mistaken for problem solving. It helps to know the difference as this will ease your stress and streamline your productivity.
That mountain of work that never seems to get done requires a change in your time management skills. Instead of nibbling away at crisis points get a strategy sorted out. Plan your week and allocate time for tasks and time for breaks.
Everything will be a lot simpler and your work more efficient and effective if you get a good amount of sleep. If you must work at home stop at least a couple of hours before you retire. Keep the bedroom a place of sanctuary, don’t drink alcohol, tea or coffee before you go to bed and let some fresh air in.
It’s easy, free and not too hard to build into your daily routine. Exercise is repeatedly shown to build resilience and keep us mentally fit and healthy.
Find time to properly relax. There are lots of options to choose from. Whether you go for mindfulness, yoga, or some other technique you’ll find some form of relaxation restorative.
A balanced diet eaten at a time when you’re not composing emails or staring at a spreadsheet is important. Breaks are allocated at work for a reason and you should take them.
All the aforementioned have one thing in common and that’s about being kind to yourself. It’s a reasonable assumption that you’d prefer to avoid weeks or months in the wilderness with stress-induced depression, so you have act.
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Jerry Kennard, Ph.D., is a chartered psychologist and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society. Jerry’s clinical background is in mental health and, most recently, higher education. He is the author of various self-help books and is co-founder of positivityguides.net.