When I was young I thought being a grown-up would be so easy, plenty of money, free time, and nice cars. Wow, was I wrong. As an adult, I face endless tasks and feel the weight of constant demands on my time and attention. I’m kind of tired of the rat race.

Does this sound like you, too?

When we are constantly being bombarded with activities, responsibilities, and deadlines, we can start to feel overwhelmed, and our efficiency, and effectiveness suffers. And, so do we.

Before you can reduce stress or make it work for you, you must recognize the signs and identify the sources. Monitor yourself physically and psychologically. Take an inventory of your lifestyle.

Are you desperate to simply have some time for yourself? Are you always tired? Are you physically exhausted and psychologically fatigued? Are you demanding perfection from yourself in all things? Is your social life getting risky or your alcohol intake increasing? Are you crabby at work? Are you irritable at home? Is your interest in sports, work, good conversation, friends, family, or food decreasing? Do you dread going to work? Do you feel less joy in your personal or professional life?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions or you could relate, it is time you confront these difficult concerns. Consider your answers seriously and seek solutions as soon as possible.

Here are some suggestions: Negotiate and set more realistic deadlines. Prioritize what needs to be done first and what can wait. Recognize that good work may not be perfect, but it is certainly good enough. Start countering negative thoughts and negative self-talk with positive thoughts and messages and you will start feeling better right away.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get real about reasonable expectations. Take parts of your life back and start enjoying being a grown-up, again! We should check in with yourself occasionally. What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What are you going to do about it?

If you need to find a keynote speaker, plenary speaker, breakout speaker, concurrent session speaker, seminar leader, or workshop facilitator who can deliver in-person, virtually, or via prerecorded session, Kit Welchlin, M.A., CSP, CVP, is a nationally recognized professional motivational speaker and author and can be found at www.welchlin.com or www.SeminarsOnStress.com.