How To Manage Depression When You Have A Busy Lifestyle

Even though being “always-on” might seem like a marker of self-worth, pushing your mental health to the side can take a toll. Over time, overscheduling yourself can affect your wellness, contributing to mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. At the same time, a depressive episode can make it feel like you have a lot on your plate, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re productive or using your time efficiently.

Whether you’re juggling a chaotic work schedule or navigating life as a full-time student, here’s how to manage major depression.

managing depression when you're busy

Recognize the signs of depression.

Major depressive disorder affects everyone differently, and the symptoms of depression will vary from person to person. By recognizing your depression symptoms, you can take action before a depressive episode arises, whether that’s taking a mental health day or seeking social support.

Some common symptoms of depression include:

  • Poor concentration and difficulty making decisions
  • Fatigue, lack of energy, or difficulty balancing daily responsibilities
  • Depressed mood, feelings of sadness, and low self-esteem
  • Anger and irritability
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Appetite changes, such as poor appetite or overeating
  • Sleeping disruptions, such as insomnia or oversleeping
  • Physical problems, such as pains, headaches, and nausea
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Thoughts of suicide

If you’re constantly overloading your schedule, you might be burned out. Over time, chronic stress can contribute to mental and physical exhaustion. Burnout can worsen preexisting mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder and depressive disorder, leaving you feeling overworked, cynical, and struggling to stay on top of daily responsibilities.

Fortunately, psychotherapy interventions, such as psychodynamic psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can be an effective treatment for managing depression, burnout, and co-occurring mental illnesses.


Don't struggle with depression on your own.

Make self-care part of your daily life.

Self-care is essential at every stage of life, from adolescence to adulthood. Even if you’re balancing a never-ending list of daily responsibilities, self-care should be part of your everyday life. According to the American Psychological Association, self-care is the key to building resilience and coping with depressive symptoms. It can help calm your mind, cultivate self-compassion, and combat negative thoughts.

Your self-care plan shouldn’t feel overwhelming. It might be as simple as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, taking antidepressants, and attending psychotherapy appointments. Whatever makes you feel refreshed and replenished, make time for it.

Remember that it’s OK to say “no.”

If you’re leaning on productivity to measure your self-worth, you might constantly feel the need to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes your way. Whether you’re taking on extra hours at work or filling your schedule with events, remember that being constantly available can cause people to take advantage of you, which devalues your time and energy.

Instead of saying “yes” to everything, be assertive and learn to say “no.” You don’t have to make elaborate excuses to turn down an opportunity. Decline politely and move on.

Know when to ask for professional help.

The most productive people in the workplace are often those most comfortable delegating tasks, sharing a workload, and asking for help. Like in the workplace, knowing when to ask for help is essential to managing depression.

If feelings of depression are disrupting your everyday life, don’t hesitate to seek professional mental health treatment. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to experience a mental health crisis, severe depression, or suicidal thoughts to reap the benefits of psychotherapy. Whether you’re experiencing irritability, a depressed mood, or physical symptoms, depression treatment can help you learn healthy coping strategies and find emotional support.

Supportive, Data-Driven Depression Treatment in NYC

Managing depression can feel overwhelming, especially when juggling a chaotic schedule. Whether you’re living with a diagnosable mental health condition, managing a chronic medical condition, or navigating major life changes, psychotherapy can make your life brighter.

To find the right therapist, reach out to a mental health professional through the Therapy Group of NYC. We know that life can be hectic, and we’re here to help you with a personalized treatment plan based on your unique mental health needs. Whether you’re experiencing severe depression or persistent low levels of sadness and lack of motivation, one of our compassionate mental health providers will help you regain strength and start feeling better.

A Personalized Approach to Therapy

You want to feel better and make lasting change. We aim to make that happen.

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