Depression at work is one of the hardest mental illness symptoms to manage.  It kills productivity to the point that it becomes too costly to ignore. 

It’s no wonder there are stigmas towards mental health.  Employers do not want to hire personnel whose illness causes problems to the point of missing work – for many days each calendar year. And if employers had a choice between someone else on the possible employee interview list, the hiring manager will not choose the person with a mental illness.

When the depression at work sets in, it is a good idea to be prepared to combat some of the indicators such as fatigue, deep sadness or lack of motivation. Below are four tips used to overcome depression at work while getting things accomplished:

  1. Choose tasks that are easy and quick to finish.

Clean out your email Inbox, send emails, do an office supply check for your work space, work on a PowerPoint presentation or draft simple correspondence.  These tasks may ease pressure from professional stress.  These tasks take little to no effort so you can use this time to breathe.

  1. Keep your mind active.

When you lose my motivation to do anything, your thoughts turn negative. Often you will say to yourself, “You are a failure at your job.”  or “Nobody likes you.”  You need to shut these negative thoughts down and fast before it worsens!  Examples: self-hypnosis, practice deep breathing, do some filing or catch up with another colleague.

  1. Get moving.

When you feel the depression rolling get up and move. Push myself away from the desk and get moving…anywhere. To keep the fatigue from the depression from winning, take short walks that have a purpose. For instance: go to the kitchen and fill up your water bottle, empty the shred box, filing or take the mail to the mail room.

  1. Talk to your mental health providers.

If you try these tips as well as others to assist with your depression during the work day and they do not help, you need some bigger reinforcements.  Your EAP Provider is a great place to start. The counsellor can give you more ideas to lift the depression fog at work.


If properly treated, depression at work can be managed. Instead of burning up sick time or personal time off, you can try these tips to support you in working with your depression on the job.