Depression at Work During the Holidays: How to Cope

December 25, 2019 Mahevash Shaikh

Depression at work during the holidays may be slightly different than during the rest of the year. The holidays are a tough time for people in general, causing otherwise happy people to get a case of depression. For chronically-depressed people, the holidays are when their depression tends to get worse. Combine that with work—most of which is overtime—and the situation gets all the harder to handle. Here are a few things you can do to cope with depression at work during the holidays.

How to Cope with Depression at Work During the Holidays

Accept You Are More Depressed than Usual: Stop Feeling Guilty for Not Being Festive

Holiday blues are real and many people apart from the usually depressed crowd feel low at this time of the year. Sadly, there are some nosy people who make it their business to tell others to "perk up and be festive." Some of them might even really mean well, but what they don't know is that depression doesn't work like that.

You can't just talk yourself into being happy and excited. No matter whether others get it or not, you need to be kind to yourself no matter how many times you are made out to be a "Debbie downer." Once you come to terms with the fact that you are going to be more depressed than usual, you are better equipped to cope with it. 

Know and Respect Your Limits

You alone know how much physical, mental and emotional energy you can invest in at your workplace, so it is entirely up to you to set boundaries accordingly. For example, if your manager requests you to take up some tasks of a coworker who is on holiday, don't feel obliged to say yes. You can always decline respectfully, saying that you have your own deadlines to meet by the end of the year. Alternatively, you can go the diplomatic way and tell them that you will try to complete that coworker's tasks as soon as you are done with yours. 

Don't Give in to Peer Pressure

It's hard to say no to work events and team activities, especially when they are supposed to be fun. After all, you don't want to be that person who is known for being anti-social and weird. To avoid such a reputation and to get out of your comfort zone, take part in an event/activity or two. 

However, you must put your mental health above others' opinions of you. When you don't feel comfortable participating in something, don't be afraid to be the odd one out and say no. If it's not your idea of fun, then it's not your idea of fun. Don't worry about being judged and simply walk away. After all, you were hired to work, not to be outgoing and social. On that note, take a look at the video below to get the know-how on surviving your office holiday party -- that is, if you can muster the energy to attend it. 

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2019, December 25). Depression at Work During the Holidays: How to Cope, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 17 from

Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

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