As a therapist and specialist in human behaviour in the workplace, I work with many employee-clients who suffer from situational depression sometimes called workplace depression. This type of depression has been dubbed the ‘common cold’ of the workplace by Australian HR magazine
In Canada alone, depression and other mental health issues account for over a 50 billion dollar loss in productivity (Global Business & Economic Round Table on Addiction & Mental Health). Yikes is right!
The workplace has to be more supportive of employees with mental health issues. Once workplaces are more aware of mental health issues then support measures will be put into place.
However, it is the responsibility of every individual to take responsibility for both their mental and physical health.
With my clients, I give very practical advice to kick start solutions that can help with their situational depression. One helping step is to ‘activate their lunch breaks’.
It is shocking for me to see the number of clients that come in, generally depressed, and yet who day after day do not leave their desk on their lunch break. The human body was not made to work on a task and / or sit in a chair continuously all day long. The simple act of valuing the lunch break is paramount – whether the boss takes his/her lunch break or not.
Helping clients find practical solutions to improve their moods will give them quick successes along with the ability to explore troubling issues and commit to lasting changes.
Whoever you are: take your lunch break, leave the building, go for a walk, turn off your cell phone and be in the moment. Try it and watch your mood improve and your productivity increase.
The lunch break is to rejuvenate so that you can come back to work refreshed.
Image by Wolfgang Lonien