Not too long ago, my wife scheduled a doctor’s appointment for me to discuss stress and depression.
I’ve never had suicidal thoughts, thankfully, but for some years have gone through peaks and valleys. When in my valleys, I can get pretty down and irritable, and sometimes it lasts a while.
My family feels it the most. My wife recognized I hadn’t been in tip-top shape for more than just a while. I admit I haven’t managed my workload or prioritized the more essential things in life very well recently. That has certainly contributed to my angst. (Not to mention 2020 is the craziest year ever.)
I didn’t want to go to the appointment at first but didn’t have a great excuse not to so I went.
Now, I’m not going to give any more detail about my mental health, “cause that’s my business” (Tabitha Brown, you are a delight). But the reality is this is not uncommon and unfortunately there’s a lot of stigmatization around mental health.
THE STATE OF DEPRESSION AND BURNOUT
After doing a quick search, I learned, according to the National Network of Depression Centers, “Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15-44.” (NNDC Research) And the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) finds “Almost 75% of people with mental disorders remain untreated.” (ADAA Research)
Sales can exacerbate the stress. Even before COVID, 64% of salespeople agreed or strongly agreed they were close to burning out. (Thrive Global).
This isn’t intended to minimize other significant problems in the world. Many people are suffering from significant issues. But it seems there are a lot of us who should take our mental health more seriously.
WHAT IS XANT DOING
That’s why I appreciate that our CEO, Chris Harrington, on a company all-hands call yesterday, announced a company-wide mandated day off every third Friday of the month beginning September 25.
The reason? To give employees time to be with our families, to de-stress, and to take care of what’s most important.
This is huge! It’s not the only thing but it matters. And other companies are doing similar things, which is awesome.
I told my wife and we’ve already planned a family hike. I’ll tell the kids I’m choosing to take off work and will look like a hero. Everybody wins.
WHAT CAN YOU DO
Whether or not you’re able to take work off during the week, in whatever spare time you have there are some great things you can do to care for stress and depression.
I’m not an expert, but I can copy and paste stuff from experts. Here’s a list of recommendations I stole from ADAA (there’s a lot more detail on their site so check out the link below):
- Distract yourself with positively distracting activities
- Keep a schedule
- Get outside
- Stay in touch (with people)
- Limit checking your phone
- Enjoy time with your immediate family
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255. Too many people struggle needlessly.
A FINAL THOUGHT
Thank goodness for the people in our lives who love and care about us!
When my twin daughters were 5 years old, one of them observed, while on a family drive and in a moment of unusual silence, “Dad, mommy’s the boss. You’re just the helper of the boss.”
Here’s to all the real bosses who schedule doctor’s appointments or seek help against our wills.