It seems that everyone’s more stressed with ever less time for traditional stress busters like a two-hour lunch, let alone a weekend getaway, and certainly not the two-week beach basks common in generations past.  

Might any of these on-the-fly destressers help you?

  • Have a song rolling in your head. "It's a Small World After All' works well for me.
  • As you get each tiny part of a task done, say to yourself, “Okay."
  • Rock in a chair, even if you have to be working.
  • Think, “Baby steps. What’s the next baby step?”
  • Take three deep breaths, maybe staring at something beautiful, like a flower. Take twice as long to exhale as to inhale.
  • Think of your most peaceful image: a baby sleeping, a fern-lined creek, clouds floating.
  • Take a three-minute walk or drive, perhaps while listening to Pachelbel Canon or to your favorite pump-it-up music.
  • Call someone you love, just to say you love them.
  • Get on the floor with your dog.
  • Have a ritual—for example, a waking or bedtime ritual.
  • Realize that, with 7.7 billion people on the planet and that this day is a mere blink of history’s eye, it doesn’t matter that much.

There are no magic pills but at least these have no side effects.

Marty Nemko was named “The Bay Area’s Best Career Coach” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian and he enjoys a 96 percent client-satisfaction rate. In addition to his articles here on, many more of Marty Nemko's writings are archived on Of Nemko's seven books, the most relevant to readers of this blog is How to Do Life: What They Didn’t Teach You in School. His bio is on Wikipedia.

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