Depression: Finding your own path to solid ground
We can all experience times when we feel low and our spirits are down, but this doesn’t mean we are depressed. Depression is a low mood that persists or recurs regularly and interferes with everyday life.
Depression affects every individual differently and has a knock-on effect on our personal lives as well as our work. However, being proactive and seeking support and treatment can make a significant difference to how we cope.
For a lot of us the ongoing pandemic has impacted on workloads, financial worries, health issues as well as general stresses and worries and many people are understandably feeling overwhelmed, unsure of the future and what to do. You may be reading this blog because either you or someone you know is suffering increased anxiety and depression.
If you are depressed, you may feel tearful or irritable, have a sense of worthlessness, a lack of confidence or focus and just not be able to enjoy things you previously found enjoyable. Your sleep patterns and appetite may change, and you may feel tired all the time. These physical and mental symptoms can be extremely distressing.
The good news is there are things you can do right now to help change the situation:
Ideas for starting to deal with depression
- Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling. This could be a friend, a family member or a work colleague. Ask them for support.
- Consider contacting your GP for advice and clinical support.
- Self-refer to your NHS Talking Therapies (IAPT). You can find your local Talking Therapies Service on-line
- Contact us at People at Work to discuss what support we can offer.
- Practice self-care; eat well and try and get enough sleep/rest.
- Try exercise and get outdoors in nature wherever and whenever possible.
- Keep a mood diary to help pinpoint positive and negative triggers.
- Try mindfulness or yoga.
- Plan little things you enjoy.
- Be kind to yourself and don’t apply pressure or self-expectations. If something feels too much at the moment, let it go.
- Try and focus on a few tasks per day rather than becoming overwhelmed with a long to-do list.
- Celebrate any achievement, however small – all the “small wins” add up over time.
- Avoid drug/alcohol misuse.
- Please remember if your depression is so severe that you don’t feel you want to go on then there are people who can help immediately; call the Samaritans on166 123 OR text SHOUT to 85258; dial 999 OR go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department immediately
- People at Work – login to “My EAP” via your organisation’s website or call us on 020 3286 1545 http://www.peopleatwork.co.uk/(available 24/7)
- NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies – https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-psychological-therapies-service/
- Mind – Mind is a national mental health charity https://www.mind.org.uk/information- /https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/about-depression/
- Samaritans – National charity offering 24-hour support for distressed and suicidal people https://www.samaritans.orgor call 166 123 any time, day or night.
- Text SHOUT to 85258 for 24/7 text-based support