Strategies for Handling Work Stress & Depression

Strategies for Handling Work Stress & Depression

Stressful work situations and conflicts can cause excess anxiety and aggravate depression symptoms. Here are 3 strategies that helped me cope with a toxic workplace.

Workplace Stress

In a recent workshop, a woman described how she works in a situation that has her so stressed out that her hair is falling out, and she asked what she could do.

Now, I am sure many might think: “Find another job!”

However, some people simply CAN’T.

Imagine …

  • You are 6 months away from retirement.
  • You have 20+ years in at a company and only two more to go.
  • Financially, you have no choice but to stay.

I offered her three strategies (LifeTOOLS), and they are the exact same ones I used when I was once in her situation.

#1 Workspace Management

Turn your office, desk, or workspace into a calm, peaceful, & safe oasis.

This means you fill it using as many of the five senses as possible, in ways that are soothing and calming!

  • Hear: I had soothing music always playing very quietly in the background. (The kind they play in spas!)
  • See: I had pictures and quotes which helped “anchor” me in a calm and peaceful place. (Kids, family, pets, quotes, etc.)
  • Smell: I had my favorite candle (sage & citrus) on a warmer plate and my lotion which was the same smell.
  • Touch: This could be a squish ball, stress ball, magnets, whatever works for you—I had a favorite bear pen from Yellowstone!
  • Taste: I had my gum! This could be a favorite tea or seltzer.

#2 Nix the Negative

STOP complaining about your boss & the situation.

Oprah said it best: “What you focus on EXPANDS.” In a way, we are just fueling the fire when we keep talking about problems rather than solutions.

I found when I stopped focusing on how bad it was, the problem or situation got better! Here’s what it does (taken from my WordTool Book Series):

Strategies for Handling Work Stress & Depression

#3 Create Work-Life Boundaries

Set clear boundaries between work and home.

I tried a lot of different things until I created the “Dump It” concept. Here’s what to do every time you leave work:

  • Step 1: Imagine you’re wearing a backpack and it’s filled with ALL the “crap from the workday.”
  • Step 2: As you leave work, walk by a garbage can on your way out the door to go home and imagine yourself DUMPING the backpack into the garbage can. When work starts to creep into your thoughts at home, picture the backpack in the garbage can! Tell yourself you’ll pick it up when you’re back at work.
  • Step 3: Walk by that same garbage can as you go back to work and imagine you’re picking up that backpack because you’re NOW back at work!

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve had to deal with a toxic work situation and how you coped.

~ To Living Well TODAY! ~

About Carol Rickard, LCSW

Carol Rickard is stress & wellness expert who teaches people how to take control of anxiety and stress in as little as 60 seconds using a groundbreaking system she developed during her 30 years of clinical practice. She's been a featured expert in media including Readers Digest, Woman's World Magazine, and Dr. Oz's The Good Life. Carol has trained organizations such as NJ State Police, Philadelphia International Airport, Princeton University, Fox Chase Cancer Center, and US Department of Energy. Want To Cut Anxiety & Stress In 1/2? Go to -

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