stressDoes this scenario sound familiar? It’s 1:00 AM on a week day, and you’re still at the computer in your office, not even halfway done with a report due for presentation in a matter of hours. You’ve been chasing one deadline after another for days. You wonder how far away you are from breaking point. You feel parched, yet your hands and feet are sweaty. A mild headache is slowly settling in while your heart palpitates from downing three strong cups of coffee. Your stomach grumbles, and you realize you haven’t had dinner. To make a long story short, you’re stressed.

While a little dose of stress is healthy to keep you striving to learn, perform, and improve, you also know too much of it over too long a period can kill. According to an article on CBSNews.com, stress brings about cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and many other conditions and illnesses that ultimately attack your health and well-being.

And while you know the importance of taking some “me” time to relax and de-stress, you also know that this is often easier said than done. After all, many common stress-relievers—such as a detoxification weekend, going to the salon or the spa, sweating it out in the gym, or having a serious vacation—takes, at the very least, a couple of hours. And it may well be that these are a couple of hours you just don’t have to spare. Knowing this may stress you out even further.

But this isn’t necessarily true. Instead of reaching for a stick of nicotine, binge or comfort eating (or not eating for that matter), not sleeping, and so on, try out the quick fixes listed in the gallery below. They take just 30 minutes or less and should tide you over until you can free up some time for an extended de-stressing session.

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(Photo by GregPC via Flickr Creative Commons. Additional reporting by Liana Smith Bautista.)

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