Looking for work is hard in the best of times. When you’re dealing with depression, a job search can seem overwhelming. Depression zaps our confidence and drains our concentration. But the good news is that employment can be very beneficial for people suffering from depression.
In this article, we’ll look at ten specific benefits of employment for people dealing with depression.
1. Small Victories
A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that when people made progress during the workday, they felt more positive emotions. Not only did they enjoy a more upbeat mood in general, but they also expressed increased warmth, pride and joy.
The small victories you experience during a productive workday can help you enjoy these positive emotions regularly. The study found that you don’t have to wait until you achieve a sizeable breakthrough to get a boost. Even small wins can turbocharge your inner work life tremendously.
2. Meaningful Progress
Spending your time accomplishing meaningful work gives you a sense of self-worth. It also provides an anchor for your life as you expand your skills and achieve personal goals. As you learn new skills in your employment, you will have added essential items to your toolbox. Such progress may eventually lead to loftier goals and positions.
3. Financial Stability
Money problems exacerbate depression, but gainful employment will help you to achieve financial stability. With the peace of mind that comes from earning and saving money, you can work toward your goals, including managing your mental health.
4. Up and At ‘Em
When you’re dealing with a terrible bout of depression, getting out of bed can be a struggle. Employment provides a solid incentive to get moving in the mornings, even when it’s difficult.
If mornings are difficult for you, consider adopting some of these habits:
- Take your dog for a walk first thing in the morning
- Have a set morning routine, so you don’t have to think about what to do
- Set your alarm to a gentle sound
- Take a shower
- Select and prepare your clothing the night before
- Eat a healthy, nourishing breakfast.
5. Supportive Colleagues
In 2018, the Australian Psychological Society reported that loneliness can be self-reinforcing if associated with depression and anxiety. Unemployment is a significant factor in the development of loneliness across all age and gender groups.
Interacting with coworkers can keep you engaged and positive during your workday, and many people develop friendships over time with work colleagues.
6. Distraction (The Good Kind!)
Some people with depression struggle with obsessive thoughts (chains of invasive and undesirable thoughts). These thoughts are typically paired with negative emotions. If this condition sounds familiar to you, employment might provide the needed distraction to exercise control over your upsetting thoughts.
At work, you have pressing demands on your time, and these tasks can force out obsessions and other unwanted thought patterns.
7. A Growing Resume
It’s one thing to learn new skills in your job, and it’s another thing to watch your resume grow and improve right before your eyes. When you see your CV lengthen and appear more impressive, your self-confidence will increase, and you’ll know you’re more qualified to take on additional roles and responsibilities.
8. A Regular Routine
People with depression often struggle to sleep well. Sleep researcher Frederick Snyder wrote that about 75 per cent of people with major depression suffer from poor sleep, often awakening early and feeling tired in the morning. Regular employment can help you establish a routine with a consistent sleep schedule.
9. Network Contacts
As you get to know people at your new place of employment, your network will grow. You’ll meet people with similar interests and industry connections. In the future, these contacts may help you to progress in your career and develop your skills.
10. A Chance to Mentor Others
You may have received valuable advice from other people dealing with depression, and as you get to know people at your new job, you might become a mentor for others.
Working as a member of a team has some profound benefits. One of those benefits is that you all have strengths, weaknesses and unique experiences. Share your wisdom with your coworkers and enjoy the chance to be a mentor.
To learn more about the benefits of employment for people suffering from depression, get in touch with us at Asuria. One of our Job Coaches can talk with you about which programs you qualify for. We look forward to speaking with you!