How to Avoid Getting Depressed At Your Job

You may feel there are plenty of reasons to be depressed: Facing a two year federal employee pay freeze, not having a COLA for two years, and proposed changes that may impact your career or future financial benefits. Here are some ways to combat the depression.


Stan Popovich


With all of the changes that are occurring in the federal workforce, such as a two year pay freeze for many federal employees, and all of the changes that have been proposed (including furloughs, benefit changes, etc.), some FedSmith readers may start feeling depressed at their job without knowing what to do about it.

Here are techniques one can use to make a job more satisfying and may prove helpful in fighting a feeling of depression.

Challenge Negative Thinking

One of the ways to manage your depression at your job is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking.

When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. For example, you are afraid that if you do not get a job promotion you were hoping for, you will be stuck at your job forever. This may depress you but it is like your conclusion in this situation is unrealistic.

In fact, there all are kinds of jobs available and just because you do not receive a specific job promotion does not mean you will never get one.

In addition, people change jobs all the time. In all likelihood, you have an option of going elsewhere if you are unhappy at your present location.

Take a Deep Breath

Some people get depressed for a few minutes and do not know what to do. When this happens, take a deep breath. Find something to do to get their mind off the problem. You could take a walk, listen to music, read the newspaper or engage yourself in an activity that will give a fresh perspective. Doing something other than focusing on the problem that is depressing you may get your mind off of the problem  that seems overwhelming and give you confidence to do other things.

Visualize Your Future Performance

Sometimes, we can get depressed over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you may be required to give a presentation to a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day arrives, imagine yourself in that role and that situation. By going through the process in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

Positive Affirmation

Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that makes you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed, open up your small notebook and read those statements.

Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, you will be helping yourself by becoming better able to deal with future problems. Managing your fears and anxieties takes practice. The more you practice, the better you will become.


Stan Popovich is the author of A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using
Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods-
-an easy to read book
that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in
managing persistent fears and anxieties.