How the #Antiwork Mindset Can Help You Manage Depression

November 4, 2021 Mahevash Shaikh

Unless you live under a rock (which is perfectly okay), you must have heard of the #AntiWork movement. It probably has something to do with the pandemic and "The Great Resignation." Either way, I believe everyone, especially those with depression, should know about it.

What Is #Antiwork?

Founded in 2013 on Reddit, it is:

"a subreddit for those who want to end work, are curious about ending work, want to get the most out of a work-free life, want to get information on anti-work ideas, and want personal help with their own jobs/work-related struggles."1

While the above definition implies that the movement is about not working, a look into the frequently asked questions proves otherwise. The idea is to end hustle culture and work in a manner that is not exploitative and all-consuming. The people who believe in #antiwork want to restructure the way we work.

Radical change is crucial to resolve issues like underemployment, unemployment, and employee rights. #Antiwork is also about prioritizing living one's life instead of adopting the socially accepted culture of putting hard work first. Going by my research, the movement means different things to different people.

How the #Antiwork Mindset Can Help You Manage Depression

You don't have to join the community or be a changemaker to adopt this mindset. All you need to do is view your work from the lens of the movement. Evaluate everything about your professional life: the way you work, why you do it, how you feel when you are unable to work, and so on. A thorough evaluation will help you figure out where your career stands in your life.

For example, if your career is the topmost priority in your life, it will make your depression worse. There will always be times when you need to take a mental health day(s) or work less. You might even need to take a sabbatical for the sake of your mental health. In such instances, you will feel guilty for not "trying harder" or "being stronger." And the guilt will not help your mental health at all. I speak from experience because, after my divorce, I decided to put my career first. It took me about three years to realize that mental wellbeing should be my number one priority. 

Soon after this fundamental reshuffling of priorities, I realized my depression was far more manageable than before. Soon, I began to see the toxicity of hustle culture, systemic inequalities, and the many flaws of capitalism. I adopted the #antiwork mindset without knowing about it. I'm glad I did, and I highly recommend that you adopt it too. 


  1. Community, "Antiwork: Unemployment for All, Not Just the Rich!" Accessed November 4, 2021. 

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2021, November 4). How the #Antiwork Mindset Can Help You Manage Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 17 from

Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

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