Do you find yourself in a tug-of-war over stressful issues of time, people and work? On top of these difficulties, you may have child-care issues, problems with an aging parent or an unhappy spouse. This ever-present stress can zap your energy and cause a lot of personal unhappiness.

To reduce some of these pressures and regain balance, we should define limits in our lives. Healthy restrictions on what we actually give or do will help us ensure a respectful relationship with ourselves. When we can feel OK about ourselves, we can better manage everything else.

Try these tips:

Simplify something major. For example, if you’re trying to find a job, make it a rule to work on this for just 4 hours each day. This focus will likely turn up a job quicker than worrying over it 8 hours a day.

Rest your brain often. Even if you’re an attorney working on a major case in court tomorrow, stop every 40 minutes or so for a “brain break.” Thinking nonstop often prevents productive ideas.

Go to bed early a couple of nights each week. Give this time to yourself as a gift. Shut off lights at 9 p.m. and relax.

If you never get breathing room, you won’t find open time to visit the gym, go to a movie or relax with friends.

Setting limits on yourself is tricky. A guilt message may play in your head. Through taking charge of your habits, the quality of your daily life and activities will rise. By monitoring your own ability to set limits, you’ll be able to restore more balance in life.