Taking time for you


Your life is one big interruption. The phone. The kids. The boss. Everybody and everything needs your attention. So you scurry from one thing to the next, never having a chunk of time to do your own things in a serene way. You're resentful, frustrated, exhausted. When are you going to get a break?

Call a halt and do a little thinking and reorganizing. Consider this:

* Do you get in your own way by taking on too much? If you're overloaded, list things you do in priority order and eliminate the less important.

* Are you a prisoner of the "need to be needed" routine? If so, free yourself by recognizing that your self-worth need not be measured by how much you do for others.

* Do you have trouble saying "no" when others place demands on your time? If so, recognize that your health and a lowered stress level may be the reward for sometimes saying no.

Some interruptions are inevitable and need tending to -- sick kids, a meeting with the boss. Yet by providing time for yourself on an ongoing basis, you will be able to handle interruptions with more serenity.

Barbara Turk is a psychotherapist in private practice.

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