Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Dealing with life events

3-minute read

Everybody, from time to time, has things that go wrong in their lives.

They could be money worries, job loss, a death, an accident, or the breakdown of a relationship. But sometimes even happy events like the birth of a baby or planning a wedding can cause you to feel down or depressed.

Here are some strategies to try if you are feeling low:

  • Talk with your family or friends — someone you trust and find reassuring can listen and help you work through your issues. You may also find it helpful to speak to someone from a counselling service. Speak with your doctor who can refer you to one.
  • If you need to cry, then cry — don’t feel embarrassed. Crying relieves tension and can help you ‘move on’.
  • Keep communicating — if a relationship with a partner or family member is causing problems, talk to them and try to resolve any issues. You may also find it helpful to talk to someone from a specialist organisation such as Relationships Australia.
  • Stick to your routine — keeping up with your usual work and home life can help take your mind off your worries. Try to resist the urge to stay in bed all day - get up and go about your usual activities if you can.
  • Keep a diary — write down what you’d like to achieve each day, and tick off what you get done. Focus on all the positive things you do. Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t achieve all you had planned. You can begin again tomorrow.
  • Practise relaxation.
  • Look after yourself — make sure you are eating healthily and getting enough sleep. Cut back on alcohol and drugs.
  • Exercise — spend time outdoors.
  • Take time out to do something you enjoy.

Where to get help

If you need help, talking to your doctor is a good place to start. If you’d like to find out more or talk to someone else, here are some organisations that can help:

  • MindSpot Clinic (anyone suffering from anxiety or depression) — call 1800 61 44 34.
  • Beyond Blue (anyone feeling depressed or anxious) — call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
  • Black Dog Institute (people affected by depression and extreme mood swings) — online help.
  • Lifeline (anyone experiencing a crisis or thinking about suicide) — call 13 11 14 or chat online. You can also access Lifeline’s Coping Kit for more strategies.
  • Suicide Call Back Service (anyone thinking about suicide) — call 1300 659 467.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: October 2020

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

IVF can increase the rates of depression, anxiety and stress

COPE's purpose is to prevent and improve the quality of life of those living with emotional and mental health problems that occur prior to and within the perinatal period.

Read more on COPE - Centre of Perinatal Excellence website

Reducing stress - Beyond Blue

Some stress is normal and stress itself is not anxiety or depression. However, severe and ongoing stress may be a risk factor if it persists.

Read more on Beyond Blue website

Help your child develop coping skills for stress - ReachOut Parents

Learn more about how to cope with teenage stress, how to identify what is causing them stress, and how to manage it.

Read more on website

Coping with stress from the drought | Coping | ReachOut Australia

Here are some of the signs to look out for and practical ways to help you cope with stress and look after yourself.

Read more on website

Problem-solving therapy - BluePages

Find out if problem-solving therapy is likely to help.

Read more on e-hub Web Services - Australian National University (ANU) website

10 Psychological Tips for Coping with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This document describes practical psychological skills to help you and your loved ones cope with anxiety and worry about infectious diseases

Read more on MindSpot Clinic website

Impacts upon your emotional health in pregnancy. - COPE

COPE's purpose is to prevent and improve the quality of life of those living with emotional and mental health problems that occur prior to and within the perinatal period.

Read more on COPE - Centre of Perinatal Excellence website

What Is Perinatal Depression And Anxiety?

What Is Perinatal Depression And Anxiety? CLINICAL DEFINITION OF PERINATAL DEPRESSION Pregnancy and the first year of parenthood (the perinatal period) is a unique time and involves major changes in a person’s life

Read more on Gidget Foundation Australia website

How to tell people about your mental illness | Coping | ReachOut Australia

While it’s great that you’re on the path to getting well again, telling people about your illness can bring on anxiety and stress.

Read more on website

Alcohol and drug use - Beyond Blue

Many people with depression or anxiety use drugs and alcohol to try and cope.

Read more on Beyond Blue website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.