Post by Gurkirat Randhawa, UBC student and Healthy Minds Project Assistant
Feeling sad is a common emotional experience. In fact, did you know that 70% of UBC students have reported feeling very sad ? So, when your mood is low and you’re feeling sad or down, how can you boost your mood and stay on track?
While everyone has their own ways of coping, here are a few tips that might help:
Do you have a favourite song or artist that you commiserate with or celebrate with? Maybe you play an instrument? Music can exert a very powerful influence on the heart and mind. So try and listen to one of your favourite upbeat and fun songs, and possibly partake in a random high-energy dance session in your room. Just remember to close the curtains/door, unless you want an audience (invite them to join?).
Try: Vevo music videos
Keep doing activities (i.e. yoga, running, baking, etc.) that you enjoy even if you think you are too busy
When you’re feeling down you might stop doing things that normally keep you feeling good and in a positive mood. However, if you feel good, it’s easier to get stuff done and, well, you feel good And that’s good. Good? Good!
Try: Getting active with UBC REC
Challenge negative thinking with self-supportive thoughts
How you feel and how you act depends a lot on how you think. Try positive self-talk, which involves repeating realistic and self-supportive thoughts. For example, you might say to yourself “everyone makes mistakes.” And it’s true… everyone does make mistakes. In short, positive self-talk can help you maintain a more balanced perspective.
Try: Positive self-talk
Set small, specific, and realistic goals
When your mood is low, or you’re having a bad day, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Take a deep breath, and then take a few moments to prioritize what needs to be done. Set clear, doable goals, and break down large tasks into smaller chunks. This will increase your chances of success and help you feel more prepared, which in turn can improve your mood. Remember, you can do it (see point #3 above).
Try: Setting SMART goals
Connect socially and reach out for support
Being with others can help you feel good (exceptions to this include being on a packed 99 B-Line or standing in the Blue Chip lineup at 9 am… let’s not go there). In all seriousness though, staying connected with supportive people can make you less vulnerable to depression, enhances your self-esteem, and helps you recover from low moods faster. When you’re feeling down, try talking with people who care about you.
Try: Having some fun and getting involved
Remember, as with any difficulty, if your sadness persists or other health conditions emerge, make sure to reach out for assistance. Try speaking with a peer at the Wellness Centre, or speak with a counsellor at Counselling Services.
 National College Health Assessment (2009), “NCHA, UBC Undergraduate Domestic.”