How can I learn to relax if I’m overscheduled?

Wean yourself from work. How do you do this? By setting up boundaries and sticking to them like you keep to brushing your teeth and hair every day. Choose a time each day after which you will not do any more work. Make sure you give yourself at least one day over the weekend to goof off (no work!), whether it’s by yourself or with family.

Blow out the flame. If you’re truly burning the candle at both ends, you need to stop and evaluate why. Are you working sixteen-hour days? Or are you staying out late with friends to cut loose and enjoy the fruits of your labor?

If it’s wall-to-wall work, you’ve got to take charge. It might mean a long talk with your boss or, if things are really out of hand, even switching jobs. Or it might mean you need to just stop being such a workaholic and do less.

On the flip side is our yearning to take a break by doing something exhausting. In the case of a lot of end-to-end candle burners, we party hard, drink, smoke, and stay out way past our bedtime. My advice here isn’t not to have fun. On the contrary! But when you need a break, take a break. Six hours at Club All Night Long probably isn’t it, no matter how cute the suits at the bar are.

Get a dose of morning light. Our body clocks don’t exactly match the day’s twenty-four-hour-day clock, which makes us want to sleep twelve minutes longer every day and stay up later every night. But you probably don’t sleep later but do stay up later ... no wonder you’re wiped. What helps? Getting out of bed at the same time every morning and sitting in a sunny spot for breakfast, or exercising outdoors, or just turning on lots of lights. A dose of brightness in the morning helps synch up your internal clock with the twenty-four-hour day. It also helps you get on regular, saner schedule.

Turn off the cell phone and PDA.
More and more we’re growing into a culture addicted to our BlackBerries (there’s a reason they were instantly nicknamed CrackBerries). The flickering, hypnotic light from their tiny screens will arouse your brain and cut into your sleep time. Put away your electronics at least an hour before you hit the hay, if not earlier. Otherwise, you’ll never get a truly restful night’s sleep. (True confessions: I know about this—I’ve been there!)

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.