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Is “The Daily Grind” Actually Depression?

Apr 25, 2019

As the young people among us tend to say “adulting is hard”. It’s true. Despite the money we spend on technological devices to make our lives easier and less hands-on, the difficulty of daily life is stress-inducing. That combination of work, kids, errands, and bills is commonly referred to as “the daily grind” and accepted as inevitable by most people.

This begs the question: What if “the daily grind” isn’t inevitable. What if it’s really depression that is going untreated, leaving people stressed out, burned out, and exposed to the health problems associated with depression and anxiety? Does “adulting” really need to be this hard?

As reported recently by Today, burnout often masks depression and the “chronic grind” has experts worried that the typical person’s lifestyle is contributing to a never-ending loop of anxiety and depression.

“With emails, texts, push notifications and calendar reminders, it feels like work never stops. For many, this frenzied pace causes burnout.” As Irvin Schonfeld, a professor of psychology told Today, “If someone thinks he or she is suffering from high levels of burnout, I would suspect depression.”

It’s important for people who are feeling burnt out to seek help. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they need treatment for depression, but discussing your feelings and state-of-mind with your doctor during your annual physical is a good start. Other steps that can be taken to alleviate feelings of “the grind” or “burnout” include:

  • Unplug: It’s hard in today’s tech-driven age, but simply “forgetting” your phone at home while taking time for yourself can go a long way toward reducing the stress that comes with always being tethered to work, friends, telemarketers, and advertisers.
  • Set boundaries: Working from home or having the ability to quickly access company software when an idea strikes can be convenient, but it can also blur boundaries and make work-life balance difficult to achieve. Set boundaries for yourself, whether it’s allowing a certain number of hours per day for work or something as simple as instituting a “no checking email after 7 p.m.” rule.
  • Let it go (sometimes): The carpet will still need vacuuming tomorrow; take the night for yourself and your family once in a while

If you are diagnosed with depression, your doctor or therapist can help you build the structure and support system you need to care for yourself and be there for your colleagues and loved ones.

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