Fighting Depression in the Workplace by Lisa Lannon

Fighting Depression in the Workplace

Depression Knows No Bounds – It Seeks Everyone

Josh and I created Warriors Heart with the mission to heal our nation’s warriors through our healing centers. Most of our individuals suffer from substance abuse and psychological disorders along with Post Traumatic Stress, grief/loss and moral injury.

We are watching individuals who are fighting their toughest battles in life. Many who have finally decided to look for ways to manage anxiety and depression in a healthy way after many failed attempts.

But depression has no bounds. It doesn’t just seek out those with PTSD or those recovering from addictions. It has the ability to affect anybody and everybody. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 out of 5 adults experience mental illness in a given year.

I have seen top executives who are extremely successful people battle with depression. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) found that 62% of business owners feel depressed at least once a week. If those are the statistics in Canada, I can only imagine what they would be in the United States.

Solutions

At Warriors Heart, we believe that taking up a hobby and engaging in projects can help establish a clear mind and help those who are struggling find a balance in their lives. It’s tactic that is manageable and for all different skill levels/types.

I have witnessed that there are benefits to working with your hands. There have been multiple studies that claim levels of anxiety are decreased for those who spend a small amount of their day to an art project of some kind.

This art project can include music engagement, expressive writing, movement-based creative expression and visual arts therapy. These outlets can help individuals temporarily forget depression/anxiety disorders and focus on positive and encouraging facets in their lives. In a way, these projects function as a sort of meditation exercise to help establish positive routines.

When starting projects for depression management, there is a certain degree of repetition. Repetitive motions can have a calming rhythm and require just enough concentration to distract the mind and shut out external triggers. For those who find a project that allows them to get in touch with their creative side, it can have a long-term positive effect on their mindset. Just because someone might feel stuck in a depression that feels self-destructive, doesn’t mean that they have lost the power to create.

Outlets

Now that you know hands-on projects are good fighting tools against depression, what is there to choose?

Here are a few suggestions to get the mind thinking:

Art: this category encompasses a large variety of possibilities. Anything from oil painting to sketching to woodworking to welding. Creating a piece of art and the medium in which is created, is completely up to you and your creative mind.

Cooking: for some, cooking can be a form of relaxation. It is also an opportunity to create a piece of art that not only is appealing to look at but to consume!

Photography: capturing special moments is an art within itself. Maybe it’s preserving the beauty of nature or creating a timeline of someone’s life. Photography is a fun and beautiful way to create art.

Home Improvements: have you seen Fixer Upper? Doesn’t it look like so much fun? Well, it’s just as much work as it is fun but with the power to create something “wow” worthy.

Music: losing yourself in music is a well-known therapeutic practice that is timeless. Whether your playing an instrument, writing music or just listening to music – it’s a great way to refocus your mind.

In an environment where a large amount of individuals experience depression and anxiety (and among various backgrounds), it’s important to find an outlet to positivity. There will be setbacks and low points but that’s not the deciding factor. Explore solutions and try new things until you find something that works (because the first thing you try may not be the answer for you).

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