Decrease: simplify
How do you decrease? Take a deep breath and let go of perfection. Okay, so there are crumbs on the kitchen table—the world is not going to end. Barring a major bug problem, it should be safe for you to go to sleep at night without sweeping up every crumb in the house.

Make your life easier wherever and whenever possible. From dishwashers to pre-packaged meals to self-cleaning shower gadgets, there are a large number of products that will save you time and sweat. Some of them might be costly, but if they save you time in the end, they are worth it.

You will also have to learn to say "no" more often. Set up boundaries to protect your emotional and physical well-being. Cut back on the number of committees you join, and don't agree to host every family function or holiday party at your house. Most people will respect your decision. It is nice to feel needed, but resolve to trim down your social obligations, and save yourself for only those that you truly enjoy. The same goes for your kids' activities. Save your, and their, energy for the events they can't live without or give up. Use the time to relax with your feet up. To reclaim your sex life back you need "your" time back.

Disengage: reconnect with you
Have you ever booked a massage then spent the time worrying about the weird noise your car is making? Or desperately wanted to go to sleep only to find your mind racing because you aren't able to turn off the adrenaline rushing through your body? For many women, a lack of time isn't the only problem—we find it hard to relax, too, even when we do have a few moments to ourselves.

This is where exercise is helpful. A brisk walk, a session in the gym, a swim, even digging in the garden will get your heart pumping and your hormones flowing. The result is that you'll feel energized and relaxed. If that sounds like too much activity, yoga is a less energetic relaxation tool. While doing the exercises, you are only able to think of the poses at hand—and not the million things left on your to-do list. Any type of exercise that encourages you to slow down and focus on your breathing will help you relax. When you focus on controlling your breath, you are too preoccupied to focus on mundane worries.

Take five minutes every day to sit calmly, breathe deeply, and calm your mind. Breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose. Use this deep-breathing technique to relax your body and mind whenever you feel stressed.
Excerpt from Real Sex for Real Women by Laura Berman, PhD. Copyright © All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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