#Wellbeing series: A guide to managing low mood and depression

Improve Your Mood – A guide to managing low mood and depression

Buzz Manchester Health & Wellbeing Service

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions, affecting roughly one in ten adults in the UK. It can affect anyone regardless of age, sex, culture etc.

It is usual for everyone to experience low mood; however, if this low mood carries on for an extended time or worsens, you might suffer from depression. You might experience depression only once, or it can be a recurring battle.

Depression can become chronic if it is present for an extended period or occurs over time a. This happens as depression creates a vicious cycle in a person’s daily life. Each of these aspects affects the other, which can keep depression going. 

There are five areas of these cycles:

  • Your thoughts
  • Your emotions
  • Physical symptoms
  • Your behaviour
  • Situations that you put yourself in or deal with daily.

The main reason why we keep the cycle going is:

  • Poor coping
  • Poor motivation and low energy
  • Negative beliefs or hopelessness



The first step to beating depression is finding ways to break the vicious cycle.

The key is to take small steps, one at a time. A small positive change in

one area can positively affect the other areas and turn it into a positive cycle.

Changes can be made in the following ways:

  • What you do
  • How you feel about things
  • How you think
  • What is going on in your life
  • Your physical health

Motivation follows action

When dealing with depression, even small tasks can look like significant obstacles, and you often feel unmotivated to take action. But in reality, it has been shown that motivation follows the first action you take. Even if it is just getting out of bed, that will act as the initial push that gets the ball rolling. Sometimes setting yourself an easy routine with even one or two steps can help with improving motivation:

Routine can include:

  • A regular bedtime and wake-up time
  • Periods where you are active
  • Periods when you rest and relax
  • Regular times to eat

Symptoms of low mood and depression can be helped by planning enjoyable activities to keep you motivated and help boost your self-esteem. But it is important to remember that perseverance is critical. Getting yourself out of the depressive cycle takes time and patience, so it is important to repeat your routine tasks until they become a habit.


Clinical treatment options:


The most common way to treat depression is through taking antidepressants. They do not cure it but can help manage symptoms such as low mood, lack of motivation, energy levels etc.

However, it takes time for antidepressants to start working, usually around six weeks, and you might feel worse before seeing improvement. Side effects can include headaches, sleepiness and fatigue, and blurry vision, but they should subside after the 1st week.

Talking treatments

You may want to access a service that can help you improve your mental health. Your doctor can suggest services that can help. When you attend a service, they will listen to how you feel. They will help you to see what impacts your mental health. They will support you in making changes to improve your mental health. Some therapies may be relatively brief. Others continue for more extended periods

For the full guide, access: https://d1jw0l0b625fbx.cloudfront.net/docs/Improve-Your-Mood-December-2016.pdf

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