1. Jeff Chandler

    This is a fantastic article and one that doesn’t come a moment too soon. I especially enjoyed this advice which I really need to figure out:

    Petrova suggests finding other activities outside of work that will help you to gain perspective on life. ‘Dedicate special time for your recipes,’ she said. ‘Start spending an hour in the morning with your coffee. Spend Sunday afternoon with someone or with friends,’ she suggests.

    ‘But never give away this time. Never give it away for work. Never replace it for something, never sacrifice it. It’s important that you keep this thing and slow down.’

    Lots of great tips in this article. Now if I could only act on them instead of staring at them.


  2. binarysprocket (@binarysprocket)

    Thank you for writing about, and bringing attention to, this very real, very prevalent, very stigmatized and highly misunderstood issue.


  3. Jim Walker

    At nearly 50 years old, with 15 self employed years “in the business,” I’ve found the most direct way to counter “the effects” is exercise. This is crazy important. And it needs to be strenuous. A walk in the park is not exercise. Hiking uphill, jogging, or some other strenuous sport for an unrested 30 minute period 3+ times a week is usually enough.

    Diet tends to follow exercise (and rarely the other way around). So start down the path physically and your body will soon tell you what it needs nutritionally.

    Essentially, your body is a learning machine. If you sit and remain inactive your body will simply accept the norm and tune down the things you are not using. This is were all kinds of things start to go sideways, as weight issues can lead to self confidence issues, et al. Lessons learned…


    • Jimmy Smutek

      Good stuff Jim, can’t agree enough.

      I was recently diagnosed with depression and adult add. My wife and have both sort of suspected the depression for some time, and she has been pushing me for years to exercise. I would try, but in the end I just couldn’t get myself to do it. The diagnosis was the catalyst that finally got me moving.

      I’m no ultimate warrior or anything like that but I do exercise pretty much daily now and it has definitely made a difference. I still have my days but I can honestly say that overall I’m in a much better place.

      @Sarah, thanks for the cool article.


    • Jimmy Smutek

      ps. one thing to add –

      .. it needs to be strenuous. A walk in the park is not exercise….

      I agree, but I’d also say that it’s important to not underestimate walks in the park. Fresh air and a leisurely stroll outdoors can also do wonders. :)


    • Ryan Hellyer

      I think you are comparing to people who go for a 10 min stroll in the park. I regularly do +20 km walks and consider that just as effective as running 5 km.


      • Jimmy Smutek

        Ryan, kudos man – +20k walks is awesome! I’m a walker as well but don’t cover nearly that distance. My average is more in the 5k range, but it’s been great for me.

        I’ve taken to listening to business related podcasts while walking and it’s helped me make exercise into something I enjoy.


  4. netweb

    This is a great article with great advice and tips, thanks Sarah and Yana :)


  5. Anthony Hortin (@maddisondesigns)

    Great article Sarah. And thank you to Yana as well for helping raise awareness of this often debilitating illness


  6. Madalin

    This is a pretty awesome article. I am already mailing this to a couple of guys that from my point of view need to relax a bit.

    Depression in IT is a serious things and need to treated alike.


  7. findandknow

    If you think that you are depressed then yes, you are , if you think that you are happy, then yes youare happy , you are the one who decide if you’re depressed or not


  8. Bowe Frankema

    Great article Sarah.. I think it hits close to home for a lot of people in our community (for me it does). Figuring out a good life/work balance was the hardest for me, and I always compared myself to the big names in our community. This caused me to try to do too much in too short of a time and neglecting my personal life and health too often. Luckily I seem to have gotten this under control during the last few years.

    I hope that their will be a follow-up or more similar articles like this on WPTavern :-)


    • jakilevy

      I’d argue that you’re a Big Name, Bowe :-)

      Wellness is critically important – and when we’re all busy taking care of so many other people’s sites and web properties – it is just as important that we take care of ourselves. We must be as vigilant, if not more so, about our own well beings as we are with the work we do.


  9. Patrick

    I’ve battled with depression my whole life and it’s great to see it coming out into the open like this. Ten years ago I had to leave a good job simply because of the prejudice against sufferers – in journalism you are considered washed up if you admit depression and there’s still a lot to do to educate non-sufferers.

    In my experience it hits people who care about their work and sometimes may have unrealistic expectations of themselves. Self knowledge and recognising when it’s ‘in the post’, then doing something to counter it is the key, and Yana’s recipes will help here.

    Also, for me the turning point came when I left the job I hated and set up my own business.

    Great article, sensitively done, Sarah. Thanks.


  10. Christee

    Recipes: Breathe in fresh air, soak up some sunshine, gaze at the beauty of nature, play with a pet. All very grounding, reviving, perspective giving.


  11. Melissa Hill (@melissajohill)

    This is a wonderful resource, thank you! I’m going to gently push this under the noses of a few people I know.

    In addition to exercise, fresh air, and good food — a little mindfulness can go a LONG way to help mitigate the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression. I attended a mindfulness-based stress reduction training a few years ago that changed my life.


  12. mkells88

    You just can’t think yourself happy. I wish. Life balance with work can be challenging – I took on a full-time IT job a couple of years ago after spending years working freelance and it is a huge challenge trying to keep up. If I’m not learning new things, I don’t function as well in my work.


  13. Jeffrey

    “The opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality”, wow, well said.


  14. trentlapinski

    I’ve always tended to be on the anxious side of things. Meditation is a really valuable tool to manage anxiety, and rumination for me. I recommend checking out the app Headspace (https://www.headspace.com).

    I meditate daily now, typically when I first wake up. It has a profound effect on the entire day really. Highly recommend it to anyone struggling with depression or anxiety.


    • Jim Walker

      Wholeheartedly agree trentlapinski. Meditation or some form of it can greatly help one’s outlook. I had not mentioned it earlier as even in today’s world it (meditation) tends to qualify folks as woo-woo or a bit nutty. Culture is changing on this–but we have a long way to go.


  15. Justin

    I’ve been unhappy, sad, and heartbroken, but folks tell me that those things are not the same as depression. I’m the sort of person that will tell you that if you want to have a good day, simply wake up and smile. Life’s too short and all that. So, it can be difficult for some people (like myself) who have never experienced depression to understand it.

    In the past year, I have talked with a family member who did suffer from depression. For her, she said the things that help the most are having regular activities and surrounding herself with family/friends.


  16. Carrie Lewis

    Great article! I just wanted to let you know I posted a part of it on my own blog here: http://carrieontheweb.com/tackling-depression-in-it/ with a link. Keep the good stuff coming. This should be something known to a lot of people. Depression in anybody is not good doesn’t matter what profession be it sports, IT, Medicine etc.


  17. Greg Beddor

    People that work alone at home are super susceptible to depression, I’ve watched it happen to a few friends and with some of the people I’ve worked with in the past. I agree, unless that person tries to step outside of their box and actually interact with other people outside of the house, it’s really easy to fall into a state of depression.


  18. ekarkovack

    Working from home can get awfully lonely at times. And forcing yourself to sit at a desk (or at least stay confined to your home) is not so healthy. You have to get moving and learn to get away from work for a bit.

    I used to routinely respond to work emails at all hours of the night. Now I’ve learned that some things really can wait. I figure if someone really expects answers 24/7, even for small stuff, it’s probably not going to work out between us ;)

    That said, I still do struggle with stress. But if I turn on some great music, take a few minutes to play with the dog, it makes a positive impact.


  19. Paul Mycroft

    Many parts of this article hit the nail on the head. Difficult clients who unload on you (and sometimes swear in their email) think that it is their right and you will not be affected because it’s done via email and they need their job done. Now. And for it to work on every device known to man.

    Well, we do get affected and usually have many emails like that come in during a day.

    Aside from regular lunchtime yoga and indoor soccer (both once a week), I also use music at work and planning to “follow” some online sporting events (soccer) things that bring me back and give me something to look forward to. Coffee with a friend helps us to talk about things which frustrate us.

    Oh, and riding my bike home in the rain. ;)

    Good luck everyone. We are not alone, thankfully.


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