Are you one of those people who looks forward to going to work and dreads going home at the end of the day? You’re not alone. Homelife can be stressful, especially if you have conflicts that continue to go unresolved. Work, on the other hand, provides a sense of relief.
Work has some therapeutic benefits including camaraderie, focus, and direction. Full-time work has been linked to better mental and physical well-being.
So, if your happy at work but depressed at home it might be your lifestyle. Here are five lifestyle factors that might be the root cause of your depression at home.
- Isolation. Human beings are social creatures. We need to be around others, especially people who are happy. When we’re depressed, we feel like no one wants to hang out with us, so we isolate; thus, making it worse. If you find yourself at home alone, make an effort to get out of the house. Do something social, for example, join a running group or knitting circle. Before leaving work, ask coworkers to get a bite to eat. Make a conscious choice not to isolate.
- Sleep deprivation. Sleep is essential for resetting our bodies. Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Getting your zzz’s boosts your immune system, prevents weight gain, increases your productivity and improves memory. Sleep has also been linked to being in a better mood. Set bedtime reminders on your phone. Begin a wind-down ritual about thirty minutes before going to bed that includes turning off electronic devices, drinking a cup of chamomile tea, and finding something quiet to do like journaling or reading. When it’s time to sleep, go to bed and close your eyes. If you can’t fall asleep, use an app like Headspace to help.
You’ll find that having a bedtime routine will aid your ability to fall asleep. And within a short period of time, you will start to experience a shift in your mood.
- Your inner critic won’t shut up. We all have an inner critic. That little voice in our head telling us we’re not good enough, replaying all of the mistakes we’ve made in our lifetime. Give yourself compassion. One study showed that self-compassion may be the antidote to depression. Some ways to show self-compassion include eating nourishing meals, writing a letter to yourself, posting inspirational quotes on your bathroom mirror, or practicing mindfulness.
- Lack of exercise. Exercise gives you an endorphin rush, making you feel better. Exercise also reduces stress, feelings of loneliness and isolation, and depression. If you’re not used to exercising, begin slowly. Walking just 20 minutes a day is all you need to boost your mood, increase your energy, improve your memory, and reduce your risk of disease. Join a Meetup group to beat isolation and get some exercise.
- Poor nutrition. Nutrition plays a big role in how we feel. Just remember the last Thanksgiving meal you had – how did you feel after a bunch of turkey and pumpkin pie? It’s not just the big meals where we overdo it, it’s our daily diet. Nutritional psychiatry is an emerging field linking food to depression, anxiety, and other debilitating conditions. Begin to change your diet slowly. Start by eliminating one thing, for example, refined sugars. Make changes over a period of time so you will be more likely to stick with them. Get help from a qualified nutritionist or support from a nutrition coach.
If you are experiencing depression at home, communicate with the members of your family or your roommates. Ask for support. If your home life is causing stress, find solutions to eliminate those stressors. It could be as simple as asking your kids to turn down the music or opening the drapes to let in more sunlight. Finally, if you are experiencing sustained depression, seek help from a qualified counselor.
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