How to Deal with Depression as a Manager

Happy Mid-Week Everyone! Saturday was an incredibly gorgeous warm spring day in Georgia. It was a great relief from the cold damp weather.
If you’ve been reading my blog, I gave an update during the Daily Affirmation Challenge Check In regarding future blog post. You can see the post in the link below.

Recently I purchased the subscription for the Shine App. The review for the paid subscription vs the free version will be coming up soon! Even this week, the Shine App has added a couple of features to their daily check in, so I am very excited to try out them out.

Today, I wanted to address a topic that I feel has very limited subject material on; Dealing with Depression as a Manager.

Seriously, go look up right now; How to Deal with Depression as a Manager. Sure you’ll come across articles about dealing with depression and dealing with depression as a worker, but very rarely will you see anything in regards to a manager.

Why is that?

The reason that I came up with is that as a manager you are expected to get the job done. Put aside your personal life, feelings and lead your team. If you can’t do that, than you are out of a job. End of story.

Now, I can’t say that I am going to disagree with the fact. You are a manager, your job is to lead your team to success. What I want to address is how.

When depression hit me, I felt incapacitated. I felt like I could barely function, barely take care of myself, how could I lead a team? Also, how is my demeanor effecting my team, whether I mean it or not?

Signs your depression is effecting those around you

As much as we may want to hide it or not, depression eventually comes out. We may not even realize we are effecting others. In management, this has a pretty big effect. When a leader no longer functions in their role, it brings down the morale on the team, the environment is no longer as enjoyable, people may even start to look for other jobs, and the success of the business if effected.

Let’s take a moment to address signs your depression is effecting those around you at work. This include but are not limited to the following:

  • The room goes silent when you enter
  • People avoid you
  • Employees will stop asking you questions, or try alternative resources to answer their questions
  • People are complaining more in general – it doesn’t necessarily have to be about you.
  • When people talk to you, they tend to not stick around for long and usually without a smile.
  • General Morale is down
  • Your superior has addressed it with you

So what do you do?

How to Deal with Depression as a Manager
  1. Deal with your Depression
  2. Find safe outlets at work and at home
  3. Continue to Communicate with your employees
  4. Ask for help

1.Deal with your Depression

When you get on a plane and the flight attendants go through the safety protocols, for those of you still listening, did you notice when the oxygen mask come down, you are expected to put on your oxygen mask first before you help your child. I heard this the other day, and it made so much sense to me. How can I expect to lead a team, when I can’t even take lead of myself?

So it brings me to the first point; actually deal with your depression. As stated above you are responsible for a team, they are looking to you for guidance, leadership and direction. You owe it to yourself to be not only the best person for them but also the best person for you.

The only way you will personally be able to get through work is if you have a solid strategy on dealing with your depression. It is not just going to magically go away. It is there, it is hungry and it is going to keep feeding off of you until you do something about it.

I am a big proponent of therapy. I have seen how much therapy has not only helped me with depression but other ares of life as well. It is not a weakness to go to therapy, it takes incredible strength to recognize, Hey, I need a little help. I recommend doing searches close to where you live, and maybe ask for recommendations from friends/relatives. Maybe your HR has some recommendations. I also know health insurance also carries a list of therapist.

Here is a link from psychology today;

Going to therapy is also not the only option. There are quite a few books out there in regards to self help, some that are interactive, some that are funny and amusing, and some that are pretty intense reads. Below is a link to my page with some book recommendations. I will keep adding books as I go through them personally or maybe they have been recommended to me. If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them!

2.Find safe outlets at work and at home

By safe outlets, I mean find ways you can utilize your office environment or time to help you get through the day.

Take a 15 minute break and your lunch! I can not express this enough. Even my staff will tell you how much of an advocate I am for taking a break and lunch. Breaks and Lunch provide you with that much needed mental break. When your depressed it may feel like thats the last thing you want to do, being left alone with your mind can be frightening. But maybe, our thought process should be, this is my investment time into myself and my well being.

Here’s a couple of ideas for your break:
– Focused breathing exercises
– Meditate
– Go for a walk outside
– Drink some water
– Go talk to a colleague
– Read a book
– Color

If you are allowed or your work load allows you the ability; listen to a podcast or audio book throughout the day.

It’s also important to have outlets outside of work. Find a hobby or an activity that you can commit time. Don’t have a hobby? Go learn something new! Go scuba diving! Go join a kick boxing class! (Hey wait, I did that!)

The world is open to so many possibilities, and there are so many skills that are available via the internet. LinkedIn and Pyror Learning have some great resources for building certain skill sets. Local colleges like Kennesaw State University have Continuing Education courses that range from Administration, Art, Culinary, Nursing, and Photography. The key is to find something you enjoy doing and something you can solely own.

3.Continue to Communicate with your employees

Communication is key to being a successfully leader and maintaining good relationship. I know when I went to work, all I wanted to do was bunker down in my office, close the door and not talk to anyone. This doesn’t work on many levels. Your team still expects you to lead and you can not do that behind a closed door. Yes, there is technology and we can email directions. However, your staff still needs to know they can rely on you as a resource and a leader.

Get out and talk to your staff. You may be surprised on how much your team cares about your well being.

4.Ask for help

One of the tools you learn to use as a manager is delegation. This is very important during this time period. In the first step, dealing with depression, I mentioned that it takes incredible strength to recognize Hey, I need a little help. This is just a repeat but with work. Hey, I need a little help. Talk to your boss (if you have one) and let them know whats going on. Maybe there’s something on your plate that doesn’t necessarily need to be on there. Maybe you are having a difficult time getting through a certain piece of work, ask a colleague or maybe one of your employees for help.

As an employee helping your boss with their work has been some of the best moments I had. I felt empowered, like i could provide that key insight to make a difference. I now see it as my turn to do the same for others, to give that feeling to others as well.

It’s ok to get help. Sometimes we all need help, to raise our hand and ask for it. Humanity has a great way of surprising us.

The Golden Gelly Nuggets

1. As a Manager, you must take care of you first.
2. Face your depression and make a plan
3. Find safe outlets at work and home
4. Continue to Communicate to your employees
5. Ask for help

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