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How to Deal With an Over-Booked, Over-Stressed Life

Got stress? Welcome to the club. We can’t provide a cure, but we sure can help you manage it.

Life is always pretty crazy, but toss in a new partner and maybe even a new home on top of all your existing stressors, and things can get  ugly pretty quickly. If your life is feeling unmanageable, try these techniques for lightening the load.

Cut Back Recognize that there’s a limit to everyone’s energy. Write down everything you’re trying to accomplish, and start to triage. What’s most important? Is there a way to lower your standards or level of commitment for things that fall lower on the list? Ten minutes saved on six different projects is a whole hour you can take to relax – which will make you more efficient for everything else.

Delegate What? Let someone else do something on your list? Let your partner deal with dinner? Yep. It might not get done exactly how you want it at first, but you’ll learn to deal… especially when the zombie-like exhaustion starts to lift. And also, remember that the more you let other people do things, the more confident and competent they’ll become. Try not to expect perfection at first, and remember – it doesn't have to be your way, to work.

Unplug Set aside time each day where you don’t check your phone or e-mail, and as a general rule try not to constantly be looking at your inbox. Constant interruptions and too much multitasking make you less efficient, not more.

Exercise We know, we know – add another thing to your list? But this one is a huge stress reliever, and there are ways to fit it in throughout the day that you’ll barely even notice the extra time. Take the stairs at work, run upstairs to use the bathroom, park the car a little further away from the store. Or, do some multitasking – spend quality time with your partner on a walk, or read papers you need to get through while you walk on the treadmill.

Nestpert: Judith F. Kashtan, MD, is a practicing psychiatrist in the Twin Cities and past president of the Minnesota Psychiatric Association. Find out more at kashtan.yourmd.com.

-- The Nest Editors

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