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How to Get Work Done When You Are Feeling Depressed

Updated on July 2, 2016

Here’s the situation. You are feeling depressed and demotivated. There’s work to be done but you are not in the mood to do anything. You have deadlines to meet but all you want is to isolate yourself and worse, drown in those negative thoughts.

You know and you’re aware of how important it is to get your work done. Even so, your current emotional and mental state makes it difficult for you to do so. While skipping a day at work may seem like the best thing to do, it only provides a temporary solution. More importantly, there’s no guarantee that you’d be feeling much better the next day, especially if you are just letting your depressive state linger on.

Getting things done

The first step into overcoming this productivity hurdle is to recognize and accept your current emotional state. Once you’ve recognized your emotions, try to identify the cause as to why you’re feeling such. If you need to take a breather, do so. If your work allows you to take breaks in between, take that opportunity to go to some quiet place where you can reflect or ponder. If you can, write down what you’re feeling and its cause. Once you’ve done so, ask yourself if there is anything you can do at the moment to solve it.

If the cause of your depressive state is something overwhelming, it would be best to keep your mind out of it while at work. Now, this could be easier said than done. Thankfully, there are ways to cope so you can eventually return to your productive self.

1. Listen to relaxing music

Listening to relaxing or calming music helps shift your focus and gives you a calmer state of mind. When you’re calm, you can see things in a more positive outlook. This makes you focus more on work instead of the feelings and thoughts that makes you depressed.

2. Read motivational quotes and messages

In times when you’re feeling really down, reading motivational and inspirational quotes can help you shift to a more positive mindset. There are many good sources of motivational quotes online such as Pinterest boards and Facebook pages. You can also go to Twitter or Instagram and view photos posted under hashtags for motivation and success. Also, by developing a habit of reading two or more motivational quotes a day, you can train your mind to think more positive instead of getting trapped in a pool of negative thoughts and feelings of hopelessness.

Positive Mind. Positive Vibes. Positive Life.
Positive Mind. Positive Vibes. Positive Life.

3. Perform a personal mantra

A mantra could be a simple yet powerful word or catchphrase that helps reinforce positive thoughts. It also helps you concentrate more on your tasks. It realigns your thoughts to your goals. The effectiveness of a mantra depends on how deeply you are connected to it. So make sure to choose a mantra with a meaning that truly reflects but at the same time aims to reinforce positivity to your current emotional and mental state.

4. Create a to-do list but break it down into smaller tasks

Another effective way to get some work done when you’re feeling down or depressed is to create a to-do list but instead of putting major tasks, you break them down into smaller tasks. This gradually helps you regain your focus and mood for work instead of feeling overwhelmed. Take things slowly but in a constant flow. Do one small task at a time and before you know it, you’ve already finished your work. If you still can’t seem to get your mind into it, there are apps that can help like a Pomodoro Technique Timer.

5. Reward yourself for completing a major task

This one should be ideally associated with the method mentioned above. For some people, the thought of a reward after completing a significant task gives them more motivation to work and get things done. It can be a simple reward that you know you will truly like (ex. eating your favorite food after work or getting a much-needed massage). Just make sure to set rewards that are attainable, realistic and won’t take a toll on your finances.

One last advice. If you’re feeling depressed, you shouldn’t allow to yourself to stay hungry. Find time to eat and never skip meals. Make sure to eat healthily. When you’re hungry, the more you tend to feel sad and the more you can’t think clearly.

So there you have it! Nonetheless, it is still up to you to assess the extent of your emotional and mental state. Do not be afraid to seek for professional help if it is what’s best for you. You may stumble and fall but the choice to get back up truly depends on you.

© 2016 Kent Maureen

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