41257198_MDealing with stress is no easy task. Whether you’re facing an important deadline at work, having trouble getting your kids to do their homework or struggling with a to-do list that seems to grow longer each minute, stress is an inevitable part of the lives of most Americans. Even though it’s difficult to avoid stress, there are smart ways to manage it. Here’s how to make stress, well, less stressful.

Take one thing at a time. Oftentimes we get stressed out when we have a lot on our to-do list. So we try doing multiple things at one time. Here’s the problem: Research shows that multitasking makes most people more stressed, not less! Studies also have shown that multitasking doesn’t help most people increase their productivity.

Keep your to-do list as small as possible. It’s been shown that people who make to-do lists tend to get more done. However, if your to-do list is too long, it can be counterproductive. Try to keep your to-do list to about three important tasks per day.

Eat healthy foods and get enough sleep. Getting too little sleep and snacking all day on processed foods with little nutritional value can make you feel more stressed. New research shows that simple things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods and taking short walks can be powerful de-stressers. Try to make small changes each week, such as bringing a healthy snack to the office or going to sleep a half hour earlier. Remember that it takes about a month for most people to form a new healthy habit.