We have deadlines and more commitments than we can shake a stick at in our work lives. We feel overburdened when it comes to our home lives because we leave one super-stressed environment at work straight to rush hour, then we enter the wide world of “stress-dom” once we walk through the door and say hello to our families.

It seems there is no time to even go to the bathroom and sometimes and you only do it because you absolutely have to. You rarely have to time to prepare yourself dinner, much less anything for the family to chow down on as well. You want to watch TV together with a family member or sit or lie down to read a book? Good luck! These days, many people feel like they can just forget about watching American Idol on a Wednesday or Thursday night at the risk of losing necessary rest so they can feel up to par the next day while at work.

What happened? How have our lives spun so out of control? Are we to believe this is the way it is and always will be if you want to get ahead in life with a well or adequate-paying career?

While there is almost always a trade-off in the form of sacrificing family time when it comes to making the big bucks, you certainly stand room for improvement if you really want it. Whether you are a high paid executive or a middle class worker with two jobs, if you want to make money, it’s going to take time away from your personal life.

However, this does not have to spell disaster for you; you don’t have to sacrifice every part of your life to make time for yourself and your family as long as you are organized and stick to a plan.

Here are 5 steps you can take right now to take care of yourself and take a load off:

  1. Make time to exercise, even if it’s only 15 Making time for yourself is absolutely essential if you want to live a happy life.minutes, by taking inventory of your day. In other words, look for little pockets of time where you can sneak in those few minutes every day. For some people, this can mean you’ll have to wake up 15 minutes earlier and walk around your neighborhood. For others, it may come in the form of  walking during your lunch break. I personally like to do it once I get home because my body feels much more alert and I usually have a burst of energy I wouldn’t have otherwise if I exercised in the morning or early afternoon. Bottom line is; whatever works for you, do it! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different times to see what suits you most.
  2. Take time to clear you mind and revitalize your spirit. The stress of a normal workday, day in and day out, is enough to drive you batty! However, you can minimize the effects of stress by merely taking 10 minutes of your day while you are at work to find a quiet place, close your eyes, and do deep breathing exercises. I find it easy to go to my car parked in the municipal lot to do this. Make sure your car is in a safe place; you don’t want to be closing your eyes and meditating when there is a car-jacker or car burglar on the loose!
  3. Intentionally interrupt your workday with a 15 minute break to take care of you. Your boss is continually on you about meeting deadlines or getting something of importance done. Once you reach any type of goal, make it a habit to reward yourself by taking a walk within the office or the surrounding areas during your break time so you can help clear your head of any undue stress. Doing so will actually lead to more productivity and I can’t say enough on how it benefits your health in the long run.
  4. If possible, take a break by darkening or dimming your computer screen from time to time while at work. You wouldn’t believe the amount of mental stress you are placing on yourself by continuously staring at and working on a computer every day. Break times are perfect for this!
  5. Make a conscious decision to pick one weekday night to either spend one hour on yourself or with a family member. It can be done if you make a plan and stick to it, even if it means losing a few minutes of sleep for just one night out of the week. I find Fridays are perfect for this and I usually take two to three hours to spend with my family members.