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Are you depression-proof?

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Otherwise healthy individuals can show signs of mild depression at work. These signs include performing uncharacteristically low-quality work, neglecting to follow up (or return e-mail or calls) and becoming immobilized by indecision.

Most people continue to show up every day even when mildly depressed, research shows. If you're one of them, seek medical treatment if the problem repeatedly prevents you from operating at full capacity. Meanwhile, ward off depression by strengthening your mental fitness. Reduce stress by embracing the empowering attitudes of mindfulness, receptivity and resilience.

Mindfulness means living in the present rather than fretting about the past or future. Your senses are attuned to what's happening right now. You're observant but not judgmental. If you see something troubling, you think, "This requires my full attention," rather than, "Oh no, what a mess!"

Receptivity involves welcoming experience with open arms. Feed yourself mental messages such as "Things will get better" and "This isn't so bad" to combat dread. When you face an abrupt change in your routine, take newness in stride. It's hard to become depressed when you're optimistic and eager to greet the unknown.

Resilient people rebound from the inevitable setbacks that occur at work. It's fine to feel shaken or disappointed for a few minutes, but if you're still distraught days later from a mishap or bad outcome, you'll merely prolong and intensify whatever sting you feel.

Guard your privacy 

If you're a recovering alcoholic or substance abuser and your employee confesses a similar problem, should you disclose your personal history?

You're tempted to reveal your past struggles and become your staffer's confidant and rock of strength. But your good intentions can and probably will backfire.

Your experience doesn't make you an expert. And once you tell even one person at work about a sensitive aspect of your past, assume the news will spread. You may regret that. It's safer to refer your employee to seek appropriate treatment.

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