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Overcoming depression when you are on long-term disability

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Being on long-term disability after a workplace injury can take a toll on mental health, sometimes leading to feelings of depression and hopelessness. Recovery is often delayed due to the strain, creating a cycle that is difficult to break.

Adopting effective strategies to overcome depression is key during this difficult period.

Establish a routine

Maintaining a structured routine is important for combating depression. Set daily schedules that include self-care activities, exercise and time for skill development. A consistent routine can provide a sense of purpose and help alleviate feelings of aimlessness that often accompany being away from work.

Engage in physical activity

Regular exercise has proven benefits for mental health. Engaging in physical activity not only contributes to physical well-being but also releases endorphins, which act as natural mood lifters. Consider incorporating activities such as walking, yoga or light workouts into your daily routine.

Pursue hobbies and interests

Use this time away from work to explore and indulge in hobbies or interests that bring you joy. Whether it is reading, painting, gardening or learning a new skill, focusing on activities you enjoy can provide a positive distraction and enhance your overall well-being.

Seek social support

Isolation can exacerbate feelings of depression. Reach out to friends, family or support groups to maintain social connections. Sharing your experiences and feelings with others can provide emotional support and a sense of camaraderie during this challenging period.

Set realistic goals

Establish realistic short-term and long-term goals for yourself. Break down larger objectives into smaller, achievable tasks. This approach not only provides a sense of accomplishment but also helps you stay focused and motivated, mitigating the impact of depression.

Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques

Incorporate mindfulness and relaxation techniques into your daily routine. Practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation can help alleviate stress and anxiety, contributing to improved mental health.

Explore mental health resources

Take advantage of available mental health resources. Many communities offer counseling services, hotlines and online resources to support individuals experiencing depression. Seeking professional help can provide valuable coping strategies and assistance tailored to your specific needs.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Pay attention to your overall well-being by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Ensure adequate sleep, eat nutritious meals and limit the consumption of substances that can negatively impact mood. A healthy lifestyle contributes to both physical and mental resilience.

Over the two years of 2021-2022, there were 2.2 million cases of days away from work due to workplace illnesses and injuries. Individuals on long-term disability can navigate the challenges of being out of work by taking positive steps towards improved mental well-being.