Is Work Affecting My Mental Health?

Aside from home, work is typically a place that us working adults spend a lot of our time.  Because we spend so much time at work, the quality of our environment can play a major role in our well-being and mental health.Working in a toxic or unhealthy work environment can cause dissatisfaction day to day, which can carry over into your personal life.  Possible signs of a toxic work environment to look out for: a toxic boss, toxic colleagues, a noticeable increase in your personal stress, inconsistencies in staff expectations, and employees constantly quitting and being fired.Having to deal with any of these stressors (and those not listed) over time can induce symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue, and burnout.  Additionally, if these mental health symptoms persist long enough, it could cause someone to second guess their work performance and affect their self-esteem.If you feel like you may work in a toxic work environment, consider the following questions:

  • Do you wake up and dread going to work?
  • Are you constantly being overworked without any acknowledgement?
  • Are you worried about the politics of upper management?
  • Do you leave the office and ruminate about everything that needs to be done, could be done, should have been done?
  • Due to work stress, has there been any recent changes to your diet, sleep, or mood?

If you are experiencing any of these concerns and mental health changes due to an unhealthy work environment, please give me a call and I would love to help you get back to where you want to be in terms of your work and personal life satisfaction.

Dealing with Depression

“I just don’t feel like myself.”“I can’t seem to concentrate on anything.”“I cry for no reason all the time.”If you have recently experienced any of the thoughts above and have noticed these thoughts lingering for some time, you could be experiencing symptoms of depression.  But before we make any assumptions, it is important to clarify the difference between being sad and actually struggling with depression.  Sadness, like any other emotion, is healthy in moderation and usually is triggered by an event or situation.  Sadness eventually passes.  However, depression is more than just a passing emotion.  It is a lingering state that affects every aspect of your life… you don’t enjoy the things you used to, things seem less worthwhile, and you just don’t feel like yourself.Truthfully, many people do not seek help for depression because they are unaware of what symptoms of depression look like are or do not recognize they are depressed.  And, there is still strong stigma around seeking help for mental health issues, which can be discouraging for people to reach out for professional and personal support.Thankfully, help is available!  I want to assure you that if you are struggling with depression, you are not alone in your struggle.  In 2017, over 15 million Americans were struggling with some form of depression.  Depression is a very real thing and it is very treatable.  Reaching out for help to deal with depression is not a sign of weakness.  Getting help for yourself and improving your overall quality of life is a sign of strength and courage.If you feel like you are struggling with any form of depression, consider the following options:

  • Reach out to professional help (i.e. your primary care doctor and/or therapist)
  • Get educated on the signs and symptoms of depression
  • Stop beating yourself up for not feeling like your ‘normal’ self

Remember…. there is always hope and it is okay to ask for help.

Getting Through Life Transitions

Dealing with life transitions can be tough and stressful.  The longer you have stayed at a job, the harder it is to leave.  The longer you have stayed at a residence, the harder it is to move.   The longer you have stayed in an unhealthy relationship, the harder it is to leave what you know and what is ‘comfort.’  Making any change is stressful.  But let’s take a moment here and reflect back on the major events that have occurred in your life (i.e. leaving for college, getting married, buying your first house).  These moments serve a special place in your heart and built lasting memories.Literature has indicated that making a major life transition creates a distinctive marking point in a person’s memory that organizes the way they reflect back their life.  The story of a person’s life is filled with these distinctive marking points and are included in the stories you tell close friends and family.  At a family gathering you share distinctive anecdotes like “I remember leaving college to  take my first job.  I remember when I made the decision to leave home.  I remember when I decided to leave a toxic work environment.”The memories we have of our life transitions will always remain dear to our heart.  Therefore, if you are at a point in your life where you are feeling uncertain and going through transition, always remember: 1) Memories are to be made; 2) Stress is normal; 3) Change is natural; 4) You have had the tools to navigate through prior transitions; 5) Turn to your support system; 6) Think, plan, and execute; 7) Use this time to reflect; and 8) Be positive.