Ah, the great outdoors. Ah, the not-so-great-but-still-better-than-inside neighbourhood block.
One of the most effective coping mechanisms I’ve found in fighting Depression is simply getting out – literally, going outside for a walk – as often as I can. I work in an office, and find that I have a much more tolerable afternoon if go for a walk outside the building in the small park adjacent during my lunch hour. Here’s a little exercise I use:
While walking, breathe in slowly and deeply, counting to four (I time my counts with my steps). Then, hold for a count of four / four steps. Finally, exhale slowly for a count of four / four steps. Repeat. (You should adjust the count according to your own breathing rate — but make sure your exhale is as long as your inhale, and your holding breath is not so long that you gasp for breath afterwards).
Doing this for 15-20 minutes (of a 30 minute lunch break) really clears my head, helps me to undue stress from my work morning, and gets my energy circulating after being at my desk for several hours.
Being more relaxed and clear of mind on a daily basis is a great way to increase your chances of heading off the downward spirals.