8 Best Career Paths for People with Depression and Anxiety for 2023
Work is stressful.
But when you’re living with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness impacting your mental health, your job can leave you feeling beyond defeated.
Running around, meeting deadlines, sending emails and staying on top of your duties within your role is overwhelming.
Mental health and wellness are the cornerstones of the way we think, feel, and deal with our day-to-day lives. According to Our World in Data, anxiety affects 284 million people worldwide, and depression affects 264 million people globally.
Being part of the workforce can help reduce the severity of anxiety and depression by providing a source of social contact, along with mentally and physically engaging work. It also helps increase self esteem while contributing to financial stability.
There are certain types of job environments, both entry level and full time that are more suited for people with depression and anxiety. This includes jobs that have:
Low stress levels
Low noise levels
Limited social interaction with large numbers of people
Jobs that utilise most of your strengths
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 industries for people with anxiety and depression. These include:
If being kept indoors all day makes your brain cloudy, a job in the fresh air could be for you. Working out in the open often involves therapeutic activities that also allow you to soak up vitamin D, which is essential for energy levels.
Horticulture work is often relaxing in nature, meaning it can be a perfect low stress job for people with anxiety and depression. Not every outdoor job requires intense physical activity or manual labour.
Whether you like to get your hands dirty or enjoy advising customers which plants are best suited for their garden, there is an outdoor-based career for you. An outdoor and adventure education course is a great way to expand your skills and knowledge if you’re interested in educating others about the great outdoors. Many of these roles can be taken on part-time until you grow comfortable in your working environment.
Some outdoor careers you can consider are:
Flexing your creative muscle is a highly-rewarding outlet to express yourself and relieve stress. If you’re the creative type, try channelling this into your career.
For example, working in an art gallery or library are two very calming work environments that also allow your imagination to run wild with the works you are surrounded by.
There are a vast range of careers satisfying different personalities and interests that allow creativity and suit imaginative minds. If you like to be more contemplative and document your thoughts on paper, becoming a writer may be a good fit for you. However, if you prefer to express yourself visually, working as a makeup artist could be a job you thrive in.
Some possible creative roles you might enjoy are:
3. Animal care
Spending time with animals can be great for your mental health. Animals can be bundles of joy and contribute happiness to people’s lives, so what better than to surround yourself with in your career?
Caring for creatures that appreciate your love and reciprocate it is a truly rewarding experience, and there are many jobs that allow you to do so.
There are an abundance of animal care roles available, no matter what environment you would like to work in. Outdoors, indoors, at a clinic — you name it.
Some options in the animal care industry to consider are:
Maintaining a healthy body goes hand-in-hand with maintaining a healthy mind, and keeping physically fit is proven to reduce the severity of depression and anxiety. This is due to the release of hormones, chemicals and endorphins that have a lasting positive impact on your mood, memory, energy levels and overall well-being.
A career in the fitness industry is not only beneficial for yourself, but for your clients, too. No matter which role you have, you are always helping people improve their health and enjoy life more. It is a fulfilling industry which allows you to positively impact others’ lives. Taking a fitness course before entering the industry is a great way to refine your skills and expertise.
A few potential career options to pursue in the fitness sector are:
If you have a more technical mind, a career in information technology (IT) may be right for you. IT will constantly challenge you to think, be innovative and find solutions to complex problems. No two days are the same, and there is the opportunity to always learn new things, since industry trends are always changing.
The technology industry is in high demand, so you will be working with ease of mind that there is plenty of job opportunities and security. IT careers are flexible, you can often choose your own hours and maintain a good work-life balance.
They can involve working with state of the art technology as part of an experienced team, or you can freelance and work independently.
Some careers in the IT industry to consider include:
6. Private investigation
If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging, becoming a private investigator could be a role you excel in. Private investigation requires a lot of attention to detail and a mind attuned to problem solving. Taking a legal course before jumping into the career is a great way to equip all the skills needed, as well as expand your knowledge about the legal system.
Private investigators are constantly on the move, completing interesting tasks such as surveillance, data analysis and collecting evidence. It is a challenging yet rewarding role which will keep you busy and your mind preoccupied with work.
Some different types of private investigators are:
7. Massage therapy
If you’re good with your hands and enjoy working in a soothing, relaxing environment, then becoming a massage therapist could be a great option for you. Massage therapy is a low-stress industry, and the combination of physical and mental work will keep your mind engaged.
Massage therapy involves kneading muscles and soft tissues of the body to provide treatment for injuries, medical conditions, or overall well-being. The working environment has low-stress levels, which may help ease symptoms of social anxiety disorder. You may even find performing massages on clients is relaxing in itself.
Some of the different types of massage therapy include:
8. Small business
Turning your passion or hobby into a career and starting your own business can be a truly rewarding career choice. Whether it’s a clothing brand or a homewares store, the potential business ideas are endless. It is also much easier these days to promote your business and gain an audience through social media.
Running a small business involves continuous mental stimulation and engagement. If you enjoy a job that requires dedication and high energy levels at times, owning a business could be ideal for you.
Small businesses allow flexibility, meaning you decide where you work, what hours you do and how many days you work a week. You may also find it more fulfilling to work for yourself rather than somebody else.
It’s important to seek advice from a psychologist or other mental health professional about alleviating and controlling your mental health conditions. You can also explore career options with their guidance to find one you’ll thrive in.
Remember that finding the right job for you can take time, but don’t give up the job search or lose hope. There is a career out there for everyone.
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