Manage Your Depression

Depression is more than feeling sad. It drains your energy, motivation, and confidence. When you're depressed, even the things you normally enjoy don't sound that great. Eating and sleeping are off-kilter, you want to hide out by yourself, and your brain feels fuzzy. It's easy to brush these experiences off as "just stress" or feeling tired, but when they persist for a few weeks, it could be depression. 

Depression is a common problem that college students face with the many transitions, new roles, and stressors that happen in school. If this sounds familiar, know that you're not alone, and remember that there is hope! There are things you can do to manage depression and feel better.

You Can Feel Better. Start with These Tips.

Start at the beginning

Find your rhythm.

Changes in routine can leave us feeling down, but you can also use them to lift yourself back up. Start small with a regular morning and evening routine, and build on that by including time for regular meals, physical activity, school, and fun. 

Read more about adopting healthy and supportive habits.

Clear the clutter.

If depression's making it hard to stay on top of your daily chores, set aside a little time for one small task at a time. Do some dishes, clear a pile of papers, finish a load of laundry. Not only does this get you moving again, but it feels better to see the immediate results of your actions.

More tips on creating a healthy, happy living space.

 

Read more depression management tips from Campus Health:

 

Campus Health Tools to Help You Get Started:

Reconnect in Small Ways

Prioritize enjoyment.

Schedule small actions that you enjoy or used to enjoy, and make a point of following through on them. If it doesn't feel as fun as it used to, think of this as choosing to do something that will positively impact your day. 

Read more about doing the things you used to enjoy.

Reach out.

Depression's well-known for telling us to isolate, so when you're feeling down, take steps toward reaching out to supportive family, friends, or mentors. Even small things like holding the door for someone or smiling at a classmate can make a big difference. 

Read more about reaching out and building relationships.

Go outside.

Time in nature can work wonders. Even if it's just a trip around the block, getting yourself out of your room and into the world again can give your mood a shift.

Go out for a walk as part of Campus Health's 30-Day Mental Health Project on Instagram.

 

Campus Health Tools for Reconnecting:

Shift Your Perspective

Make the conscious decision to move your thoughts in a constructive direction, but don't force positive thinking if it doesn't feel accessible. Instead, try to name: 

  • something that's working
  • something you've accomplished
  • something that's in your power to change.

Remember to be open and caring with yourself as you do this - don't fight negative thoughts with more negative thoughts! Read more about challenging negative thinking.

Try it now: 

During difficult times, consider this:

  • You don't know what this is preparing you for. 
  • And you haven't seen how it ends.

 

Try this Power of Perspective Exercise
from Stronger Than

Not sure what you're thinking? That's completely normal! Your thoughts are very fast and well-rehearsed. Use the Thinking Error and Self-Defeating Beliefs handout to help you get to know any of your negative thinking patterns.

Reach out when you want to retreat

 

 


More tools for Emotional Wellness

 

BUILD YOUR COPING SKILLS (FOR FREE!)

TAO Pathways 

TAO Pathways offers free self-help activities recommended by CAPS to help with stress, anxiety, relationship problems, anger management, problem-solving, communication, or evaluating your alcohol and drug use - without a counseling appointment.

Enroll for free with the enrollment key: CAPS-Cares-520

ENROLL IN TAO PATHWAYS

 

 

TALK TO SOMEONE AT CAPS

At CAPS, enrolled students can receive mental health care, including: 

Learn more about getting started at CAPS.

Resources

Articles

Mental Health Tips on Campus Health's Living Wild

Depression on Psych Central

Warning Signs You May Be Depressed on Very Well Mind

8 Tips for Living With Depression on Very Well Mind

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns

Apps

Headspace: Meditation and Mindfulness Made Simple

Mood Fit App Fitness for your mental health, including tools for tracking your mood, challenging negative thinking, positive reminders, and more.

Mood Tools App Quick depression test, mood diary, and suicide safety planning.

Stressbusters Wellness, U of A Edition: audio tracks, relaxation, meditation, events.

Shine App Inclusive meditations, diverse community, personalized affirmations, and gratitude journaling.

Stop, Breath & Think: 5 minutes to peace

Woebot Evidence-based treatments, accessible anytime and anywhere.