Feeling low

Lift your mood

It’s normal to feel sad or low when bad things happen. But if your mood has been low for weeks on end and it feels like you’re stuck, here’s some advice from people who’ve been there and have found a way out.

Kirsty says reach out and ask for help if you’re struggling

Show resources relevant to this video

Mind have more information about living with a mental health problem or supporting someone who is.

Change Mental Health also have information about mental health, services in your area and how you can take action.

Read a SAMH’s short article about 5 ways to improve your mental wellbeing. You can also check in with yourself and how you are feeling, by using their five minute wellbeing assessment tool.

The Family Support Directory on Parent Club helps you find organisations, benefits and information that support parents and carers, no matter what your situation or stage your child is at.

If you’d like to explore ways to improve your mental wellbeing, use Penumbra's service checker to see if they are in your area.

Change Mental Health's National Information Service can direct you to local support that will most fit your needs.

Kirsty tells you:

  • Send a message or speak to somebody, whether it's an organisation, a GP, a helpline, friends or family.
  • Even though it's hard to see a way out, things do get better.

Saleem advises how CAB can help you

There are lots of things in life that can cause stress. If you're worrying about money, work or housing, here are some organisations that can help.

Show organisations that can support you

Financial support

Employment and training support

  • Start Scotland have resources to help you look for work, including health and wellbeing support and self-employment
  • The UK Government have information about support, training and advice on finding a new job
  • Skills Development Scotland has information on employment and career related training, learning and skills

Housing support

Susan shares the things that have helped lift her spirits

Show resources relevant to this video

Listen to Dr Michael Mosley's podcast (approximately 15 minutes) to find out why you should be making the most of the sunshine.

Paths For All and VisitScotland have information on walking and hiking paths across Scotland.

You can also read about the accessible outdoors on DisabilityScot. For wheelchair-friendly trails in Scotland visit AllTrails.

Visit Scotland has information on cycling routes and paths in Scotland. Information about classes to learn to ride a bike can be found at Cycling Scotland - Essential Cycling Skills.

Visit Actify's exercise at home list to find exercises suitable for all abilities that can be done at home.

Susan suggests:

  • getting outside into nature
  • noticing your surroundings, for example by taking 5 photos when you’re out for a walk if you can 
  • sharing baking with your friends 
  • putting your phone on do not disturb and being present in the moment
  • enjoying the fresh air

65% of Scottish adults say that being close to nature improves their mood. (Mental Health Foundation)

Laura says the Daily Mile helps her sleep better and lifts her mood

Show resources relevant to this video

The Daily Mile helps to improve your physical, social, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Listen to Dr Michael Mosley's podcast (approximately 15 minutes) to find out if spending time in nature could boost your mood. You can also read his article.

Visit Actify's exercise at home list to find exercises suitable for all abilities that can be done at home.

Euan’s Guide is a website which details the accessibility of sites across the UK, including gardens, nature and open spaces.

Laura explains what the Daily Mile is:

  • The Daily Mile’s about getting out every day for fresh air and exercise. 
  • Try to integrate this into your working day.
  • It helps clear your head and makes you more productive at work.
  • It’s about being around nature.
  • You may discover places that you never knew existed.

Regular physical activity is a recommended first-line treatment for mild to moderate depression. (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)

After a recent operation, Judy realised that she had to look after her body

Show resources relevant to this video

More information about how to eat a healthy balanced diet.

Parent Club offer recipe inspiration and ideas.

Judy recommends:

  • preparing your meals from fresh ingredients if you can
  • making sure that you drink enough water every day

David, a GP, shares how important peer support was in his own recovery 

Show resources relevant to this video

David advises us to:

  • connect to other people who’ve had the same experience
  • ask for help and take the help that’s offered
  • find a group that’s going to support you

Dr Deborah Lee explains what self-compassion is

Self-compassion is the ability to care for yourself when you’re struggling.

Most of us are very good at being compassionate to others, but we don’t treat ourselves with compassion. 

When you notice that your mind is being critical or harsh, do something helpful, not harmful.

Dr Deborah Lee teaches a technique called "Soothing Rhythm Breathing"

Deborah takes you step-by-step through a simple breathing technique:

  • Find a comfy position
  • Lift and roll back your shoulders
  • Pay attention to breathing in and out through your nose
  • Place your hands on top of your belly
  • Gently slow your breathing down
  • Find a rhythm of breath that you find soothing
  • Try to practise this technique every day

Paul talks about the impact of hearing other people’s experiences

Show resources relevant to this video

Cyrenians and Aberdeen Cyrenians offer services that help with reconnecting people to their community and regaining employment.

Read about Vox Scotland's collective advocacy for those with lived experience of mental health issues.

Scottish Recovery Network can help with  recovery from mental health challenges.

Other sources of support include:

Paul tells you to:

  • be honest about your problems
  • follow through the advice that you're given
  • feed yourself with good company
  • read books

Roslyn reminds us that we're all social beings

Show resources relevant to this video

Mind's online community Side by Side allows you to connect with others over shared experiences. You can register using your e-mail address.

SAMH has advice for coping when supporting someone else.

Roslyn explains:

  • Managing life is a team effort.
  • There are potential team members all over our daily lives.
  • It might be the person at the supermarket check-out who just gives you a smile.
  • Sometimes it’s just another person who says: ‘good morning’.

Bob encourages you not to suffer in silence

Bob says:

  • find someone you can trust to speak to
  • it's worth putting in the effort to take that first step

A message from Kat, Nurse Team Lead, about low mood

Non-urgent advice: Things to look out for include:

  • Every day feels like a slog 
  • Nothing to look forward to 
  • Becoming withdrawn 
  • Not socialising 
  • Changes in your sleep pattern 
  • Changes in your appetite 
  • No concentration or motivation 
  • Your work and relationships are affected 
  • You feel like you don’t want to be here 

If these red flags look familiar and the coping tips aren't working for you, please seek support. Your GP practice can help with this.  

If problems with money, work or housing are getting you down, here are some organisations that can help.

Show organisations that can support you

Financial support

Employment and training support

Housing support

Urgent advice: If you need urgent support you should:

During office hours, you can contact your GP.

Anytime, you can phone 111.

In an emergency you can phone 999.

Please don’t include personal information e.g. name, location or any personal health conditions.

Mind to Mind logo