Depending on the root cause, some stressful situations unfold over long periods of time–a few days, a couple weeks, even the better part of a year.

If you work for a company that’s struggling to survive, you may see no end in sight to the high-pressure environment you’re working within.

In cases like these, you need to find ways to escape at least for a while.

Unfortunately, many people’s first reaction is to do the reverse–cutting back on personal time in order to slog through a tough situation.

Remember, stress isn’t just a response to what’s already going on around you–it’s also your reaction to negative things that might happen but haven’t yet.

So it’s important not to sacrifice the habits and routines that sustain you over the long haul.

And somewhat counterintuitively , one solution is to do things that lessen work-related stress in the near-term.

Yoga and mindfulness exercises are common ways to create a sense of peace and serenity.

No, they won’t eliminate your dread of what might still be on the horizon, but they can dampen the arousal that’s getting the best of you right now.

The other alternative is just to find something truly enjoyable to do, whether or not it induces calm or mindfulness.

Go to a movie or concert. Play a game. Do some exercise.

In this case, you’re focusing your motivation on something desirable, rather than something stressful.

The motivation to do pleasant things competes with the motivation to avoid negative ones.

So if you can immerse yourself in positive activities, you’ll shift your motivation away from the focus on the stressors for a while.

This can at lest help you keep stress that you can’t totally eliminate at manageable levels over long periods.