Question: I’ve been down lately. Not depressed-down, but close, maybe. I’ve been living with my parents near campus (it’s a long story), so I haven’t really been living the college life. I’ve been studying a lot but not socializing enough. I feel fat, boring, and stupid a lot of the time, and I don’t usually feel that way. I think it’s a situational thing, but my mood has just been the worst lately. My question is, are there any proven ways to improve your mood that I can add to my lifestyle right now without totally disrupting it? I’m looking for practical tips that make a big impact without requiring huge changes–I don’t want to go get treated for depression, or anything like that.
Answer: All of us feel sad from time to time, and it certainly does not mean that all of us are depressed. However, it’s important to pay close attention to your mental health. Check your experiences against the symptoms of depression, and describe your situation to your doctor. It’s possible that you’re underestimating the problem. With that said, here are a few proven ways to lift your mood.
For starters, you can live a healthier lifestyle. That means a balanced diet and plenty of exercise. Eating well is more important to our mental health that we think. Upon closer inspection, it’s not hard to see why: healthy eating makes us feel better and helps us avoid illnesses and even injuries. No wonder we end up happier! Then there’s exercise, which releases endorphins and can even create a “natural high.” Exercise is the ultimate natural pick-me-up. So join a recreational sports league, say the pros as Kelly’s Ultimate Sports, a retailer that sells slow-pitch softball bats and other essential gear for the active lifestyle. If that seems too organized or time-consuming to you, then just go on a run or head to the gym–but whatever you do, do it regularly.
All of that exercise might make you sleepy. Good! A good sleep cycle has a huge affect on your mood. Make sure that you’re getting enough sleep, because too little sleep can make you lethargic and sad, and it can even kill your sex drive and make you more accident-prone!
Companionship matters, too, so try to get out there and socialize. It may be tough if you’re feeling down, but a few of the lifestyle changes above may give you the momentum you need to get out there and have fun. And Little Puppies Online–they’re the internet puppy pros you’ll want to turn to when you’re looking for Shichon teddy bear puppies or cute little Golden Retrievers–say not to forget abouts pets, which are proven to help alleviate depression. Since you don’t live on campus, perhaps you or your parents might want to get a dog, cat, or other pet.
A healthy lifestyle makes it easier to be happy, so focus on habits like your diet, exercise routines, and sleep patterns. But don’t rule out the possibility of a more serious problem, and don’t be afraid to seek professional help. We all need a hand sometimes, and while it’s entirely natural to feel down, it can also be a real problem.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” — Mahatma Gandhi