Stress is running high right now. The weather can't make up its mind. Finals for some colleges (like the U) are coming up here in a week or two. Construction season is beginning. We're all on a tight wire, and it's not pretty when it snaps.

So I've put together a list of some stress-relieving suggestions for the busy Utahn. Enjoy.

Get up 15 minutes earlier. Fifteen minutes of difference can make a world of difference. You don't feel as rushed in the morning; you can actually eat breakfast; you can get completely ready at home instead of scrambling to get everything together as you run out the door at the last minute.

Prepare for the morning the night before. Lay your next day's clothes out so that you don't have to waste time in the morning figuring out what to wear. If your hair takes a while to do in the morning, see if there is something you can do with it the night before to get it to look how you want in the morning with little fuss. And don't forget to set that coffee pot.

Say "no" more often. Trust me, people would rather know upfront that you won't be able to do something for them than expecting you to complete something you just can't because you already have too much to do. You're just one person. Don't take the whole world on at once. They'll understand.

Avoid negative people. Negative people just drag you down with them. Don't let negativity distract and depress you. Stay around happy and positive people, and you'll find yourself more relaxed, more motivated, and more likely to get what you need to do done. We don't need to make things harder on ourselves.

Believe in yourself. Sometimes we can be the worst critics of ourselves. You're awesome. Know that. Embrace that. Instead of focusing on what you "coulda, woulda, shoulda" done, focus on your good points. You can do it. Stop saying negative things to yourself.

Break large tasks into bite-sized portions. When you look at the whole mass of things you have to do, it can be overwhelming. Set small, achievable goals with realistic time frames for yourself instead. Next thing you know, you'll be completely through your workload before you could guess.

Smile. Laugh. It has been scientifically proven that laughing more improves your health and life expectancy. No matter how tense things get, enjoy yourself. Find humor in the little things. Bring a little sunshine into the daily grind.

If you need help laughing, there are countless options out there. The Off Broadway Theatre has comedy improv nights every Friday and Saturday night at 10 PM. They're also running Pirates of the Carabiner until the 28 of May. No Follies Left Behind is showing this weekend at Park City's Egyptian Theatre. The Covey Center for the Arts starts Date Night social dance classes on the 6 of May. Find something fun to do and enjoy your life!

Tickle a baby. Babies have infectious laughter. Play with a young one for a while, and you'll soon find yourself relaxed and in a much better mood.

Don't know all the answers. The truth can be freeing. Getting away from the stress of having to know everything by instead knowing who to turn to can eliminate many of the worry and stress in your life. You're not an omniscient being. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Say something nice to someone. Say hello to a stranger. Tell someone to have a good day. Even if you don't know the person, a compliment can light up their whole day. You'd be surprised how good it feels to make someone else feel good. A smile is contagious. Pass it along. If you can make at least one person smile every day, you'll find yourself a much happier person.

Schedule playtime into every day. You know you're going to do it anyways. Enjoy your Facebook time, your online games, or your long talks with a faraway friend guilt-free by scheduling time for it every day. Have fun with your playtime instead of being distracted the whole time knowing you should be doing something else.

Ask a friend for a hug. You have support all around you. Utilize it. Don't be afraid to ask for a hug, or a vent buddy, or a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes those that love you can be so stressed out with their own things that they don't realize you could use help. And remember that thing I said earlier about how good it feels to make someone else feel good? A hug can cheer them up as much as it can you.

Practice breathing slowly. This can be the quickest fix for stress relief while you're at work or in the midst of things. Pause when you're feeling overwhelmed, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Nothing will explode when you open your eyes. If you can, take a few minutes outside. We have beauty throughout the state. Take a moment to appreciate it, and you'll forget some of your stress.

Put safety first. With all the construction going on on the roads, rushing to work can be a dangerous thing. You won't get anything on your to-do list if you're in the hospital. Take care of yourself. Eat right. Drink plenty of water. Slow down. You are far more important than anything you have to get done.

Throw a paper airplane. Remember that childhood you had where stress about money, bills, and cars didn't exist? Revisit that. You can still have fun as an adult; I promise. It hasn't been made illegal yet.

Get enough sleep. Summer can be a busy time. More daylight hours for a lot of people mean more things to do. Now instead of just work and kids, you've got family picnics at Tracy Aviary's Urban Bird Show. You've got hikes and outings down in Moab. Sure, those are fun things. But you still have to balance it all. Make sure you get enough sleep. Cutting sleep short to get more things done will only hurt you when you crash later down the road.

Remember: You always have options. Feeling like you're backed in a corner with nowhere left to go can be a huge stressor on its own. But you always have options. Reach out to loved ones for help. Check into options your local religious institute may have available. Find out what stress relief courses may be available at your local college (Weber has an amazing stress lab that I highly recommend). There are always options. Always.

Relax. And remember: You have the rest of your life to live. Don't push yourself too hard. Life goes on, no matter what is happening now. Enjoy your life. Have fun. And don't stress over every little thing. So enjoy the little things now. Take a camping trip down to Moab. Go check out Snowbird's summer resort options. Take a hike in any one of our mountain paths. Just enjoy the life you're living right now.