When you are under stress and feeling overloaded, figuring out how to make a change can feel overwhelming. Whether its holiday stress, work stress, financial worries, or simply having too much on your plate, stress can set off a vicious cycle that feels impossible to break.

Overload, worry, and too much to do can lead to stress eating and emotional overeating, weight gain, insomnia and sleep difficulties, and neglecting the healthy habits and routines that help you fight stress in the first place.

One of the most important stress busting tips that you can implement is this: when you notice your stress beginning to build, take charge—gently and consistently.

When we are overwhelmed, stressed out, or too busy, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of reacting instead of deliberately choosing our actions. This is the difference between chasing along behind our life, trying to catch up, and sitting firmly in the driver’s seat, charting our course.

Being proactive does not require a lot of time. Ten minutes each day can contribute greatly to your focus, your effectiveness, and your ability to be relaxed and in the moment.

In this series of articles, I’ll be sharing some easy, do-able, quick stress relief tips that you can implement in ten minutes a day. Pick a few that appeal to you and claim the time to use these strategies regularly.

Quick Stress Relief Tip: Claim Ten Minutes

When you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it’s tempting to jump into your to-do list, first thing. High-achievers, especially, are easily seduced by the belief that the way out of stress and overload is to start DOING. This isn’t always the best stress busting approach.

One of the most powerful things that you can do to be more effective, focused, and productive in whatever you do is to claim ten minutes for yourself at the start of every day. Use this time to get clear on your priorities for the day---to really identify the places that you want to invest your incredibly valuable time and energy and then make sure you know when these things will happen. Identify any tough challenges or problems that may interfere and use a few minutes to be proactive. Visualize how you want to handle the good AND the not-so-great. This way you can approach your day on your terms, from a place of clarity and focus. Create an intention of how you will be your best version of yourself in the 24 hours ahead. Visualize yourself, following through on your goals, honoring your priorities, and taking care of the people and things that are important to you—and make sure that YOU are on that list too.

A ten minute appointment is not a long time, but properly approached, it can make an amazing difference.

Author's Bio: 

Are you a smart, busy woman struggling with stress, overeating, or overload? Claim your free audio set:” “5 Simple Steps to Move Beyond Overwhelm With Food and Life” at http://TooMuchOnHerPlate.com,.

Melissa McCreery, PhD, ACC, is a Psychologist, ICF Certified Life Coach, emotional eating expert, and the founder of www.TooMuchOnHerPlate.com, a company dedicated to providing smart resources to busy women struggling with food, weight and stress. She is the author of the Emotional Eating Toolbox(TM) 28 Day Program and the Success Soundtrack(TM).