Sadness or Depression

Feeling sad or low is a normal part of life – especially in college, where you’re going through so many new challenges and experiences.  

Sadness may not feel great, but you shouldn’t avoid or ignore it. Bottling up your feelings doesn’t make them go away, and it can make them worse in the long run. Letting yourself experience sadness can help you reflect on difficult situations or feelings and release those emotions in a healthy way.  

When you’re feeling sad or are in a funk, make some time to express your feelings and take care of yourself using the tips below. 

It’s important to note that if you’re experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness, you may want to consult a mental health professional. You can find a list of some of the common symptoms of depression below. 

What You Can Do

  • Talk to a friend or family member about how you’re feeling. 
  • Let them know what you need from the conversation: a sounding board, advice, help with an action plan. Telling people how you need to be supported helps ensure you get what you need. 
  • Stay as close to your normal routine as possible, including sleep, meals, showers, and taking medications. 
  • Practice mindfulness to center yourself in the present moment. 
  • Do activities you enjoy such as watching a favorite movie or TV show, listening to music, volunteering, or spending time with friends. 
  • Move your body. This can be a vigorous workout, a gentle yoga session, or just a walk around your neighborhood—whatever movement feels good to you. 
  • Spend time outside. 
  • Journal about your feelings or express them artistically. 
  • Be kind to yourself, embrace your emotions, and remind yourself that you are deserving of care.  
  • Make an appointment to talk to a professional if your feelings become unmanageable. 

Symptoms of Depression

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, and/or hopelessness 
  • Loss of pleasure in activities and hobbies you used to enjoy 
  • Changes in sleep habits 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt 
  • Loss of energy 
  • Changes in movement (slowed movements and speech or increased agitated movements like pacing or wringing your hands) 
  • Thoughts of self-harm and death 

If sadness and hopelessness persist for more than a short time and begin to interfere with your ability to function normally in your world, it’s probably time to seek professional help. Call 509-335-4511 to schedule an appointment with CAPS.