Feeling low

25 February 2021

Feeling low in mood from time to time is perfectly normal, especially in the face of difficult life events.  Feeling low may mean you stop doing things that you like or may also feel like cutting yourself off from friends or family.

Other signs include feeling:

  • sad
  • worried, anxious or panicked
  • tired
  • less confident
  • frustrated, irritated or angry

How can I help my mood?

You may feel tired, lacking confidence, frustrated, angry and worried. But a low mood will often pass after a short period of time – and there are some easy things you can try and small changes you can make that will usually help improve your mood.

Here’s a few ideas:

  1. Talk to someone. It’s important to try not to bottle up your feelings are deal with this alone. Evidence shows that having a support network that you can trust is one of the best ways to beat depression.
  2. Move. Some is better than none. Do whatever works for you. Try and incorporate movement in your day; standing instead of sitting; walking, stretching or dancing, gardening, household chores or even taking up a new online class can help our mood.
  3. Get better sleep. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine. Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, quiet and a comfortable place.
  4. Challenge unhelpful thoughts. What we think affects the way we feel and what we do. It’s important for us to be aware of thoughts and when you notice them you can then learn to challenge or distance yourself from them; resulting in the increased likelihood of you being able to see the situation in a different, realistic, balanced and more helpful way. Try asking yourself,  ‘Where is the evidence for this thought?’, ‘What is a more helpful way to look at this?’ or ‘What would you say to a colleague or a friend in this situation?’.
  5. Be kind to yourself. Don’t judge yourself too quickly. Try to treat yourself as you would a close friend or family member. Use self-compassionate phrases such as, “It’s okay to be imperfect”, and “I’m doing the best I can right now”.
  6. What you do is important. Think about what you do in your week; consider those routine things like taking care of your personal hygiene, eating, sleeping and keeping hydrated. Small improvements in one or some of these areas can help to change our mood.
  7. Engage with things that bring you pleasure or joy. Think about activities that you did before, even thinking about trying something new. It might be something involving music, crafting, writing, reading, singing or connecting with others.
  8. Get a sense of achievement. No matter how small you think it is, bringing fulfilment in day-to-day life and acknowledging those things you’ve done is a great way of improving how we feel.
  9. If you noticed you’ve experienced low mood for a  number of  weeks, you might be experiencing depression. This is common, 1 in 10 people will experience depression at some point in their lives. If you are concerned please  get the right support, it is treatable, so getting help from your GP or a qualified mental health practitioner is a good idea.

External resources for more information:

Mind.org: Depression: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/about-depression/ 

NHS: Depression: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/clinical-depression/ 

Mental Health UK: Depression: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/d/depression