5 tips to avoid overextending yourself

Published in Mental Health, For the Health of It Author: Diane Reller, MS, LMFT, LADC

We are Minnesotans. It’s hard to say no. It’s hard to put your own needs first. When you feel like the world is overwhelming you with demands, try these five ways to put yourself first.

  1. Take a minute. Sit down, close your eyes, relax your shoulders and focus on your breathing for one minute.
  2. Avoid “should have.” Our mistakes can be our best teachers.
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously; learn to laugh at yourself and the “human condition” – sometimes the irony of life is pretty funny.
  4. Step up to the plate. It’s OK to take your turn being first. This might mean taking some things off of your plate in order to manage your stress more effectively.
  5. Life doesn’t have to be hard. The most difficult path isn’t always the best, and there is no need to re-invent the wheel. Ask for help and work smarter, not harder.

Autobiography in 5 Short Chapters 
by Portia Nelson

I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost. I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in; it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it. 

V
I walk down another street.