How can we fight sadness or feeling depressed? First off, it isn’t always bad to be sad. It’s a natural part of being human. But there are things we can do to help ourselves bounce back from those sad moments and to prevent depression from interfering with our lives. Here are some ideas:

Build a Strong Support Network: A support network doesn’t have to be an army of friends and family. It could be just one person who we can talk openly to about how we’re feeling. It’s important to have that person we can call if we’re having a particularly rough day or be honest with when things are overwhelming. For some of us, that person may be our counselor or doctor. The important part is that we aren’t holding it all in and that we have that support system in place.

Challenge Negative Thoughts: A big part of depression or anxiety is those thoughts in our heads that tell us things are bad, we are hopeless and that it won’t get better. The simple exercise of checking those thoughts and challenging them can do wonders for our state of mind. If the thought floats through your mind that everyone is judging or looking down on you, counteract that with the reality that most people are focused on their own problems.

Take Care of Yourself: It sounds so simple, but little things like getting enough sleep and eating as healthy as possible can make a huge difference on how we feel emotionally. Lack of sleep can, in and of itself, cause problems with depression and anxiety  Also, exercising has been proven to significantly reduce symptoms of depression. So if you’re feeling down, stuck or overwhelmed, take a walk or head to the gym for a little while.

Use Moderation: We all know that drinking too much or abusing drugs can actually make us feel worse in the long run. Moderation is important when it comes to partying, but it’s also important in other aspects of our lives. If we’re feeling depressed or overwhelmed, we may have to say “no” to certain activities or opportunities. It’s more important to rest and take care of ourselves than it is to do everything.

Most importantly, be proactive and go talk to a counselor on your campus or in your community if you are worried about your thoughts and feelings. Use our Find Help Now page to get started.