In the past month, responsibilities layered one on top of the other until I found myself barely surviving. At the end of each day, my biggest challenge was keeping my eyes open long enough to watch an hour of the Winter Olympics. Forget about meeting my writing goals.
I didn't step away completely, but I did learn that certain times in life require me to say "No", so that I can say "Yes" to my most important priorities. For me, that meant saying "No" to attending every Mom's group and blogging at a frenetic pace, so I could say "Yes" to my physical well-being, my family, and my writing goals (which have adjusted as a result of my down time).
I recently did a Google search on de-stressing, and I found a site called "100 Ways to Reduce Stress". Take the time to read it. You'll feel yourself de-stressing just looking through the list. And since writing is still a high priority for me, I think doing many of these activities will serve to make me a better writer in the process.
Where is your stress level these days? What can you cut out or add to your life to make you a more effective writer?