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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

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

Support in Mind 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.

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.

Susan shares the things that have helped lift her spirits

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

VisitScotland has information on the best hiking spots in Scotland. You can also read about the accessible outdoors on DisabilityScot. For wheelchair-friendly trails in Scotland, visit AllTrails.

Find out how to make active travel part of your workday on Paths for All.

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 
  • switching your mobile phone off 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

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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.

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

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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 

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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

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

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

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

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.

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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

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.

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