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Mental Health

How to equip yourself to handle workplace stress, anxiety, and depression

Contributed by: Sitra Panirsheeluam, Partner Psychologist

Everyone would have experienced stress at some point in their life. Some good stress can keep us on our toes to be more motivated, energetic and enhances performance and productivity. However, some of us would have experienced bad stress which has demotivated us and has left us to be edgy and could be harmful to our health. Bad stress can lead us to develop anxiety and depression. The COVID-19 pandemic has social and economic impacts on individuals and country levels. Travel restrictions, school closures, stay-at-home quarantine and social distancing have led to loss of employment and reduced workforce across most economic sectors.

This has led to a lot of stress, anxiety and depression especially among employees and employers. Stress is often caused by stressful events such as job loss, argument with a friend, financial and marital problems. Stress is often short term. On the other hand, anxiety and depression is a chemical imbalance in our brain, genetic predisposition, may not have an identifiable trigger and it last longer than it should.

Signs of Stress & Anxiety at the workplace

Whether you are an employee or an employer, it is important to notice the signs that you or your colleagues are unable to handle your workplace stress. This can include:

Signs of Depression in the Workplace

Depression is characterized by different symptoms which might affect you at work. It can affect individuals differently. The signs of depression at work can include but are not limited to:

The following methods to relieve stress and anxiety are worth trying as they have been shown to be effective in some patients. They are also useful in addition to medication and psychotherapy.

  1. Exercise regularly at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. Exercise encourages release of endorphins which makes you feel relaxed and happy.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep with proper sleep hygiene. E.g., have a regular bedtime routine, ensure a pleasant sleep environment and ensure appropriate diet before bedtime.
  3. Mindful Breathing exercises help distract your mind from overthinking. Deep belly breathing to reset ourselves from being overwhelmed with a particular task or situation.
  4. Practise relaxation techniques e.g. Listen to music, go for a massage, yoga etc.
  5. Take a short break in between work
  6. Reward yourself for staying on task. Reward is associated with dopamine release which keeps us focused.
  7. Take a day off to take care of your mental health
  8. Journaling triggers of stressors can help us to take proactive measures to reduce stress.

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Sitra Panirsheeluam

Partner Psychologist

Carepool Asia

Learn more about our multi-disciplinary team here.