Q: Dear Susie: I have always been the “go-to” person who can always the job done. Lately I feel off-balance. In our marriage we shared responsibilities for the household, kids, and one another. Over time, as it became clear that we had different goals, our marriage could not survive. Though I know this decision is best for us all, I don't think I realized how interdependent we really were for everyday tasks. Can you offer some practical tips to help me to reduce stress during this transition?

A: Stress is Mother Nature’s signal that something needs to change, so it’s time to stop, reassess, and reprioritize. Even the most diligent, efficient among us find reorganizing household life after divorce pretty stressful at first. So here are some simple tips to help you to rebalance, and release some of that stress!

1. Set aside one Saturday this month to “Regroup.”
I know — you’re busy. But If you combined the minutes, hours and sleepless nights you’ve spent feeling anxious, stewing or irritable, you would more than justify a couple of hours on a Saturday to create a helpful timeline or calendar or post-it system, and to explore what stress-relief strategies will work best for you.

2. Prioritize. Streamline. Delegate. Discard:
Ask yourself these questions: Is there an easier way to get the job done? Who could help?

3. Remember: Not Everything Important is Urgent.
When we summon our in-house stress-response team unnecessarily, we mobilize bio-chemical reactions releasing cortisol and other coping substances that over time, can take a profound toll on our wellness, impact relationships, immunity, overall quality of life and even job satisfaction.

1. If diligent people are not mindful, there can be a compulsive quality to “getting the job done." This can lead to system overload.

2. Commit yourself to a minimum of one non-essential pleasure every single day without exception. Walk, swim, dance, laugh, create. Stumped? Ask friends what they do for fun.

3. Practice Mindfulness: Meditation, breath-work, guided imagery, walking, writing, even rocking a baby, can produce a meditative state. Deep, mindful belly-breathing. oxygenates the body -- deep, blissful Belly-Laughing nourishes the rest. Fatigue, headache and irritability can also be signs of dehydration. Drink plenty of water to hydrate skin, flush toxins, aid digestion and circulation, and stay alert.

1. Shakespeare said, ‘How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.’ Do something kind for someone else single day. There is a cumulative, positive transformation that takes place when it becomes second nature to think about creating joy. And build in healthy rewards for all you do. (e.g. Buy two bunches of flowers. Keep one, give one away.)

2. On busy days, sometimes we forget to smile. Smiling sends an internal All’s Well message: ‘I must be Okay -- I’m smiling!’ Make a point of reading cartoons, seeing funny movies , laughing with friends, and finding humor in everyday events.

3. Mental chatter and self-recriminations are distracting, distressing and demoralizing. Never say to yourself anything you wouldn’t say to your dearest friend.

Reminder: Creating a general timeline for household routine and organization, then taking one day at a time can be a huge relief and keep us from feeling overwhelmed. If you made a list of all your worries today, in six months you will look back and most of them will either be resolved, or have taken care of themselves and gone away all together!

[Copyright 2000, 2009 Susie Mantell. All rights reserved. Federal law prohibits use of this content in whole or part without written consent of Relax. . .Intuit (tm)L.L.C. Kindly email reprint requests to info at relaxintuit.com ]

Enjoy more of Susie Mantell's stress-relief tips, and order her award-winning stress-relief audiobook, "Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace" at:www.relaxintuit.com Susie Mantell's work intended as an adjunct to, not a substitute for, professional health care.

Author's Bio: 

Award-winning stress-relief expert Susie Mantell’s exquisitely soothing relaxation audiobook on CD, “Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace,” is clinically approved to soothe layer-after-layer of Stress and Sleeplessness, Depression, Anxiety, Grief, Fibromyalgia, Fatigue, Caregiver Stress, Cancer, Pain, P.T.S.D., Divorce, and Addictive Disease. Featured by The Los Angeles Times, ABC, NBC, CBS TV, Town & Country, The American Pain Society Hazelden and Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation, listeners include The Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and The Betty Ford Center. Mantell has facilitated thousands in relieving health-related, work-related, chronic or traumatic stress, customizing stress-reduction for Fortune 500 companies, The Arthritis Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, Canyon Ranch Medical, Health & Healing Dept. and The National Conference on Loss. Her multi-sensory, mind-body techniques appear in syndicated media, corporate newsletters, and publications for medical professionals. Susie Mantell's website: Susie Mantell's website