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Why Caring Less Could Be Your Ticket to Survival

By Sandy Schroeder

If you are one of those people who runs around fixing everyone's problem, it may be time to back off. If you care too much about texts, emails, social media, etc.,  you may need to take a few breaks and hide your alerts for a while. 

I know it's time when my post-its multiply and my screen is surrounded by a sea of yellow reminders. Sometimes we may not be setting healthy boundaries and we need to find the sweet spot that says, "I can care about you and still care about me."

Some days you may really have the time to spend an hour listening to a friend's dilemma. Other days, you simply don't and the best you can do is send them a note and promise to meet soon.

If it is hard for you to say no, you are going to have a lot of days where you are simply wiped out, and your overall ability to  function is shrinking fast.

Here are some tips on building little fences that keep you sane and work best for you and your family, friends and colleagues.

Learn to spot the one-way people - They are happy to absorb your time to complain about their lives, but when you need to talk they are nowhere to be found. When I spot that pattern, I become unavailable too.

Look out for leaners -  Sometimes you may be investing more energy and effort than a person is willing to put into it themselves. I have a longtime friend who does this. She has complex problems that continue to resurface, but she only goes so far to solve them. Then she just complains. I stay in touch and listen, but limit the time a little when it becomes an endless circle.  I think I am helping her by listening and I do nudge her a bit.    

 Choose to be there for yourself - If you have already fixed several situations, stop and do something for yourself. When you do go for a run, go shopping, or spend some time reading, you will return stronger and better able to help others. You can also suggest that a person with issues join you in a run, walk or shopping. That may be a better way to help them than just listening.

Draw better lines - If you are still doing too much, start pinning down the time available and the frequency of your efforts. I had a very dear friend who helped many people cope with their issues, but once in a while he would chuckle and say, "The store's closed." Then he would put his calls on hold, turn up his favorite jazz, or turn on a great crime mystery, and just get away for a bit. He always returned to help, and did a great deal for many people.

However you draw your lines, they will help you ease up a bit and put everything into perspective.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Atlanta, Ga.

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