I’m not going to lie. I’m usually in a situation where I have a number of deadlines weighing heavy on me or something outside of my job is getting me down, but over the years I have found a few ways to cope.
I guess my first suggestion to relieve stress is to just face whatever it is that is stressing you out and get it done. Procrastination leads to a number of things including sleepless nights and massive headaches, not to mention outbreaks of cold sweats while sitting in front of a laptop watching the word count idle when it should be rising. So just get down to it and crush anything that gets in the way.
Get outside. When you’re stressing out it’s probably because you’ve been worrying about the task or situation itself. When you’re outside, the situation is put into perspective; it’s no longer just you and the task at hand. Instead, it’s you, the task at hand and the entire world, allowing you to realize that the work, even though important, does not effect all aspects of your surroundings.
Don’t panic. Panic is not good company for stress. One can avoid panic through a number of practices including organization and time management, but if you feel yourself getting anxious or nauseas, chances are you’re past the point of a time management solution. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and count to 100. Think about something pleasant and then drink a big glass of water.
Eat something. Even though some people consider eating while doing work a bad thing, I feel its all depends on what you eat. For example, eat a healthy snack — get some carrots, slice them up and eat them while working. Olives, pickles and other fruits and veggies are also good choices. Stay away from fast food.
Isolate yourself. This is a solid. When trying to deal with stress sometimes it’s better to be alone. If you’re stressed, chances are you’re running on a short fuse, and the worst is to let someone who is totally innocent catch the wrath of a person working on a tight deadline or a huge project. Also, isolation allows for full concentration on the project at hand.
Disconnect yourself from the Internet. This means no BlackBerry, iPhone or Wi-Fi on the laptop. The Internet is literally an endless world of distraction and it will fuck you up. This might be the most important advice I offer. Stress does not go well with distraction, no matter how cute the kitty.
Don’t be afraid to have a drink. One alcoholic bevy is allowed, usually a glass of wine is the best choice, but make sure to sip it slowly to ensure you don’t catch a buzz. The alcohol in the wine will allow you to calm down and the act itself will take your mind off the stress.
I’m not sure if these will work as well for you as they have for me in the past, but all in all I feel this is fairly sound wisdom. All in all I would have to say stay calm and remember it’s not the end of the world.