Your work environment can be the cause of many stress factors. There’s pressure to produce results, difficulties in relationships between the boss, co-workers, and clients. Some environments may even present physical challenges, that by the time we finish our day, the only thing left is exhaustion.

When the stress mounts to be more than we can handle, it can lead to other serious mental illnesses like depression, so we want to make sure we maintain excellent self-care practices.

Signs You Might Be Depressed

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Depression and mental illnesses do not manifest in a way that is easily understood from the outside. There are many instances where we’re already at that stage without any noticeable symptoms.

In fact, university studies mention that most depressed patients don’t initially seek medical help for depression. Most people think they have something wrong physically and later find out the root cause was mental. This is called “masked depression.”

Consider that you might be depressed if you notice the following signs:

・You Repeatedly Make Mistakes You Never Used To Make

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When we’re depressed our attention scatters, leading us to make more mistakes to perform badly. It can be small mistakes from misspelling to missing details or big mistakes like sending the wrong email to a client or forgetting an important appointment.

These mistakes can bleed into our personal life as well. Even when someone points out the mistake, we oftentimes don’t have the capacity to process what’s pointed out. Eventually, this leads to a path of more mental hardships.

・You’ve Noticed A Change In The Amount of Food You Eat

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A university study indicates that when we’re depressed, we tend to overeat or crave sweets. This means that there is a correlation between the amount we eat and our mental state. There’s no doubt we need food to live, but overeating is an unhealthy habit. Weight gain and physical difficulties that come with it can become additional stress if we’re not careful enough.

・You Have Less Communication with Co-Workers

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When work gets to us, we naturally distance ourselves from it and communicate less with co-workers. Even if you are an extrovert, if you find yourself being less communicative, declining work-related social engagements, it could be because you’re depressed.

5 Ways To Relieve Stress When You Feel Depressed

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If you notice the signs of stress or depression, it’s best to get rid of them as early as possible. Stress coping methods differ for each person, but if you’re unsure of where to start from, below are some methods you can try.

1. Find a Hobby to Enjoy on Your Own

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If work is bringing you down, allocate time for hobbies where you can completely distance yourself from the difficulties at work. It can be an outdoor or indoor activity, but ideally, it should be an enjoyable activity that is easy to incorporate into your routines.

If you don’t have any hobbies like that, we recommend books and movies. “Cry sessions” through reading books and watching movies, are known to be healthy for our mental wellbeing. Comedic movies can make us laugh and bring down our stress hormone levels. A dive into an enjoyable world will help us feel less stressed.

2. Get Enough Sleep

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We all feel terrible after making big mistakes at work. If it’s a matter of our incapability, we can always take the time to grow and learn. If it’s because we’re mentally unwell, it’s solvable.

One of the most important activities for health is sleep. According to a university study, when people continue with 4-6 hours of sleep for 2 weeks, the brain function drops to as if it were pulling all-nighters for 1-2 days. In other words, unless we sleep for at least 7 hours per day, we’re carrying on with our lives under a strong stress state.

If you want to sleep but have trouble falling asleep, we recommend that you start scheduling your sleep. We share tips and tricks on that in our past blog post:

3. Have an Internal Conversation With Yourself

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It’s difficult to understand ourselves from an objective perspective. Many realize the difficulties they’re going through, only after someone else points it out.

To avoid this, we recommend having a continual dialogue with yourself using methods of “self-talk.” It’s simple. All you have to do is talk to yourself in an encouraging and compassionate tone. Canadian university research shows the effectiveness of this method too.

There are many ways you can hold conversations with yourself. Talking to yourself from a second-person perspective is known to be helpful. To learn more of how to do this, check out our past post:

4. Talk With Friends Outside of Work

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The basic and most effective way to release stress is to talk to friends. It may not be appropriate for you to speak about work stress to co-workers, but you can always rely on your friends from other social circles. The content of what you say doesn’t matter. The most important thing is for you to “feel better” after speaking to them.

Direct conversations with them will alleviate stress and help you gain an objective perspective on your problems. Constructively explaining what has happened and why you are feeling the way you do, will help you organize your thoughts. You might even find a positive outlook in the end!

5. Talk to a Mental Health Professional

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If none of the 4 methods above work, we recommend seeking professional help.

The National Health Institute (NIH) lists ways to seek help via phone and text. They also provide guidelines in finding professional help.

If that seems like a jump to you, there are apps that can casually help. SELF MIND is an AI chatbot that assists your mental health journey. For working adults, it can be difficult to find time to go see a professional, and with this, you can converse casually throughout the day to see how you’re feeling.
Check SELF MIND in app store

Health Is Wealth, Its Okay to Let Go

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When we overthink, we tend to corner ourselves into feeling low.

Get out and enjoy your hobbies and get good sleep. Find ways to enjoy your time on your own terms, and hopefully, this will lead you to more mental and physical vitality.


Konishi, K., & Hyakutake, A. (2015). Factors Associated with Depression and Atypical Depression in Japanese University Students. Showa Woman’s University Departmental Bulletin Paper902, 21–33.

Nakao, M. (2004). Industrial Mental Health in an Information-oriented Society : Relationship between Depression and Perceived Somatic Symptoms. Japanese Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine44(10), 735–744.

About the Author


As a writer, worked on many medical-related articles based on academic papers. Specializes in articles on mental health and stress care.

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