Understanding how to tackle low mood and depression

Updated on 19 September 2023

Symptoms, increasing self-esteem and resilience, and support resources

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It’s normal to not feel great all the time, and you can experience feeling low especially when overwhelmed with work or when things aren’t going quite right in life. Sometimes there may not be an obvious reason why you are feeling low, and it doesn’t always mean there is something wrong with you. However when your low moods are prolonged and it begins to have an impact on your daily live, it’s important to address it before it becomes harder to manage. 

Symptoms of low-mood 

  • Feeling sad or teary 
  • Increased anxiety or panic 
  • Low confidence and self-esteem 
  • Tiredness and unable to sleep properly 
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks 

You are normally able to bounce back and increase your mood by making changes to your routine, however sometimes it’s harder to overcome low mood. If your experience of low mood lasts over 2 weeks, it may be developing into depression.  

Symptoms of depression: 

  • Losing interest or enjoyment in things  
  • Feeling hopeless  
  • No motivation 
  • Feeling irritable at others 
  • Having suicidal thoughts, or thoughts of self-harm 

If you are struggling with depression, it’s a good idea to speak to your GP as they can suggest support and treatment options that can work for you.

Ways to overcome low mood 

Everybody is different, and what works for some might not work for others. It’s important to understand what you can do to improve your mood and manage the symptoms above, so that you can find healthy habits to fit into your lifestyle. 

Increasing your self-esteem 

Self-esteem is the opinion that you hold of yourself, and when you have a high self-esteem, you tend to hold a more positive view of yourself and of life generally. Having a healthy self-esteem can help you to bounce back when you are faced with life’s challenges, as you are generally more resilient and can cope with setbacks more effectively. 

When you have a low self-esteem, you tend to see life in a more negative light and feel unable to cope with life’s ups and downs. It can make you lack confidence and make you think that you aren’t good enough or worthy of succeeding.

For example, getting negative feedback on an assignment or failing an exam might automatically make you feel like you're not doing well enough and that you're a failure. However, when you have the confidence to acknowledge that not everything goes to plan, and can think optimistically about things, it can be easier to bounce back and empower yourself through setbacks. 

Increasing your Resilience 

Resilience is your mind and body’s ability to recover from setbacks or challenges. When you become more resilient, you can find it easier to cope through tough times and manage your mental health more effectively.

Support resources 

If you’re struggling with low mood and want to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, you can find out-of-hours support from the organisations below: