Trying to juggle work, school and health can sometimes make your life feel like a circus act, but with the right approach, even the busiest people can come out smiling.

The first step is to make a list of all the things competing for your time, be they family and friends, school work, career obligations or just finding time to cook healthy and work out and take stock of how crucial each item is to your life. When you take a tally of all the things putting pressure on you in your life, it’s a lot easier to see healthy living as a process of managing stress while maintaining good habits.

Dr. Kashif Pirzada, a Canadian doctor of emergency medicine, says that rather than trying to succeed at all parts of your life at once, it’s important to focus on one aspect of your life at a time because your emotional workload will be more manageable and your results will be better in the long run.

“Don’t spread yourself thin tackling everything right away; instead, try to be good at a few things at a time. Rather than trying to do it all at once, pick the things that are most important to you, then prioritize and manage accordingly,” Pirzada said.

While workplace and classroom pressures can sometimes feel daunting to handle, maintaining a positive outlook is crucial in keeping yourself emotionally prepared for success. Negative energy leads to a negative approach while positive thinking opens you up to a better chance of succeeding.

“Always have a good attitude and keep your mind open to healthy possibilities. The right attitude has a big effect on your overall well-being and it’s never too late to change your ways,” Pirzada said.

Elizabeth Scott, an American stress management coach and contributor with, suggests that once you’ve made a decision to start a new healthy habit or take positive steps in your life, put your commitment down in writing to make sure you include it as part of your schedule. Slotting away time in advance to cook a healthy meal or go to the gym makes it much more likely you’ll do those things, since they become a part of your itinerary rather than just general, unspecified plans.

Scott also recommends enlisting friends and family to help you stay on track. Letting people you trust in on your stress and health management goals can make them into an invaluable resource.

“You’ll find much more success if you have others who are helping you along the way. Not only will they give you support when you need it, but you’ll also have them to answer to if you feel like skipping your new stress management practice, and this will make it harder for you to make excuses and quit,” Scott wrote.

Most important of all, remember that there are plenty of people in a similar boat, with similar pressures and a similar commitment to themselves, so don’t feel like you’re alone.

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