Managing Your Mood

Moods can change rapidly depending on the situation. Three things that can cause mood swings are depression, anxiety, and stress. As college students, we may experience all three of these things within one semester. There are so many aspects of our lives that are not controllable such as the loss of a relationship, difficult assignments, unrealistic expectations of others, and hectic traffic and parking on campus. Despite all the uncontrollable things that can affect our mood there are ways to manage your mood.

Managing your mood can be tricky. Here are a few things that can help.

  • Exercise.  Exercise has been shown to help regulate mood swings. Find the type of exercise that is enjoyable to you. Decide upon a reasonable duration and frequency of exercise.
  • Create a Daily Routine. “ Making a daily routine gives us some control over what happens in our day. Structure and routine can provide a sense of security and predictability, which can reduce stress and anxiety.”
  • Organization. “ A key to managing our mood is reducing the things that can cause stress such as chaos. Keeping our dorm rooms, apartments, and houses organized and clean is one way of reducing the stress of a messy environment. Another area we can organize is our schoolwork. For example, color coding materials by subject and keeping a daily planner to know when assignments are due.”
  • Plan Fun Activities. “ It is important to plan events that are fun and stress free. Engaging in these activities is an easy way to change a bad mood into a good mood. Also, having something fun to look forward to can help you stay in a good mood even when under stress.”
  • Relax. “ Have regularly scheduled time to relax. Trying to balance all the aspects of life can be stressful. Taking a break from all the demands of a college student by relaxing is a good way to improve your mood. A few ways to relax are meditation, reading a novel (not assigned by a professor), and hanging out with friends.”
  • Talk. “ When you feel your mood going down, try talking about it with someone you trust. For example, talk to a close friend, family member, or a counselor. Talking about the things that are making you feel stressed, depressed, or anxious can reduce these feelings and improve your mood.”

By: Corrie DeLorge/Graduate Assistant Counselor
University Counseling Center