Help Me With Low Mood

So, you’re feeling really flat. Maybe feeling irritable or deeply sad. Maybe you have no energy, or you’ve lost interest in things you used to really love. 

Ups and downs in mood are totally normal and healthy. And whilst low mood is not fun at all, most of the time it passes after a few days.  But if you’ve been feeling deeply sad for a few weeks or more, it’s time to talk to someone. Talk to your parents or your Dean about getting support or refer to see one of our friendly psych team using the link on the main page. There is lots of options we can try to help you feel better. There is hope. And you’re not alone. About one in six Australian teens will experience depression. 

You can do a self-test for depression here

If depression or sadness is impacting your functioning (like causing issues in your relationships, making it hard to study or come to school, or affecting sleep or eating), its best to talk to a professional. There’s lots of really effective treatments for depression so there’s no need to suffer in silence. Chat to one of the College psychs, or your trusted GP.  

Whether you’ve been feeling super sad for a few minutes, or a few weeks, below are some resources and suggestions that might help. 

Trusted depression resources include:

ReachOut.com Have a great self-help guide for sadness.

The key strategies include:

  • Challenging negative thoughts. Note that just because we think something, doesn’t necessarily make it true. Try the ‘Thoughts on Trial’  worksheet available here
  • Challenge unhelpful behaviours and replace with helpful ones. We know there is a link between what we do and how we feel. For example, even though we do not feel like going to our friend’s place for dinner because we are so sad, if we stay home, we will often feel sadder. Why not try an experiment. Record your activities for a day and note how you felt during and after each activity. Trying scoring your mood on a scale of 0 (super sad) to 10 (super happy). Try just little things, like taking your dog for a walk. Record what you did and how you felt here. Did you notice any patterns? 
  • Lifestyle. I know, I know. Everyone’s always telling you to get exercise and sleep better *eye roll* But it turns out there’s good reason. Our bodies only make the hormones for ‘happiness’ under certain conditions. So, if you want your body to make ‘happy hormones’ that will help you feel a bit less sad, you need to create those conditions. That means: Get sleep, exercise, and eat well.  
  • Socialise. When we’re feeling sad or depressed our bodies natural response is to pull away from our friends and family. Sometimes this is because we feel irritated at other people, or because we’re having thoughts that other people do not want us around [read more here]. The thing is, research says that withdrawing from our social supports actually makes sadness much worse. So, even though you definitely don’t feel like it, get changed, and go to that friend’s house for dinner. 
  • Practice relaxation. Click here for tips!
  • Journalling. Click here for tips!

And of course, you can always reach out to your amazing College psych team for support!

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