Stuff I can do
Whether you’ve had a bad day or need help with a problem you’re struggling with, it really helps to have someone to offload to. We know it’s tough to be social when you’re feeling down, but try not to shut yourself off from everybody – people that care about you will always be glad that you’ve come to them for help.
Exercise is a great way of staying social and lifting your mood. It doesn’t have to be much – even just a 10-minute walk with a mate can give you a boost.
Face your fears
Avoiding situations that are out of your comfort zone is understandable when you’re feeling low. You might not be feeling your best and suffering from poor self-esteem or low confidence levels. It’s easier said than done, but facing up to situations that make you anxious can help you feel more in control – you’ll feel so much better for having done it.
Don’t drink too much alcohol
Alcohol can unfortunately become a ‘go-to’ relief from all of the stresses of life, particularly in uncertain times. But alcohol can actually make you feel worse about yourself, and can make your troubles worse rather than better. If you’re feeling down, try to avoid situations where alcohol might be involved. Instead, go for a walk, try some exercise, or phone a friend if you feel yourself reaching for a drink at home too often.
Have a routine
Nobody wants to be like a bear with a sore head. Establishing a regular sleep pattern is a good place to start with getting yourself into a routine – it can help your body to relax and make the days seem easier to manage. Make sure your routine is consistent – although the odd lie-in is sometimes necessary with a busy lifestyle, it shouldn’t become a daily occurrence.
You should also try to keep your mealtimes regular, to avoid skipping meals or snacking constantly. Having a good diet means more energy and can help with some of the physical side effects you may have.
Seek professional help
Everyone is allowed an off-day – nobody can feel completely happy 100% of the time. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, chat to someone who understands. You can speak to your GP for help. Or, If you need immediate support, CALM provides a webchat service and a telephone helpline, as do the Samaritans. Solutions to feeling down are not one-size-fits-all – everyone finds different things that suit them. There are a wide range of therapies and medications that can help, so why not reach out?
Everyone is different, and can experience feeling down in very different ways. The most common feelings are that of sadness, hopelessness and a lack of interest in activities that used to make you happy. But not everybody thinks or behaves in exactly the same way.
Over time, feeling low can start to affect your day-to-day life, from your job to your relationships with family and friends.
Common thoughts that you may experience when you are feeling a bit down include:
- A persistent feeling of sadness or hopelessness
- Losing interest or enthusiasm in everyday activities and not being able to enjoy life like you should
- Feelings of worry or things are playing on your mind
- Having thoughts about killing yourself or bringing harm to yourself
- Not being able to make decisions that you would normally have found easy
Sometimes the symptoms of depression can manifest themselves in a more noticeable way, through your behaviour. These can include:
- Extreme food habits – eating much more or much less than usual, which could lead to weight loss/gain
- Suffering from insomnia or a change to sleeping patterns
- Inexplicable physical pain or discomfort
- No interest in sex
- Stomach pains or poor digestive health
It can even affect how you interact with other people and the environment:
- Lack of progress or enthusiasm in your job
- Avoiding going out with others or social events
- Stopping the activities that you once loved to take part in
- Not being settled or relaxed in your home life
Feeling down can range in severity, going from mild to severe, and can depend on how much the symptoms affect your day-to-day life. It can develop gradually, to the extent where some people or even you yourself may not notice that something might be wrong. But remember, help is available – take a look at our Local Help section to find out more.
What does depression feel like?
Symptoms of Depression
Men and Depression – The Hidden Symptoms
Depression - Lawrence's Story
Why do so many men die by suicide - Comedian who attempted suicide
Local Help in Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire
If you're feeling low and our tips and advice haven't helped, speak to your GP. If you can't wait and need to speak to someone urgently, call CALM, the Samaritans or NHS 111.