Updated: Dec 12, 2019
When it comes to saying "no", many people run for the hills. We often are stuck doing things we don't want to do leaving us feeling resentful and over exhausted.
So why do we continue to say yes? It may because we are afraid of upsetting the people we care about. And we fear that they will think we are selfish and uncaring if we say no. Women particularly are more prone to falling into the trap of over scheduling due to the fact that they can't say no to those they care about.
Being unable to say no when you need to, can leave you feeling over booked, exhausted and stressed. Learning to say no before your overwhelmed is the best advice for self-care. And let me be very clear about this point...
Self Care is not selfish. Self care means you take time for yourself to of sound mind and body. By taking care of yourself, you are more connected to yourself and feel healthier and happier. Leading to reduced stress and overall better outlook on life. And you are also more adapt to take care of those people you love when they really need you.
Here are some simple tips to help you get in the groove with saying "No".
Be honest with yourself. Be clear with what you truly have time to take on and what you don't. Spend time getting to know what it is you need and want in life. A better understanding of yourself helps you understand what can and can not be done with your time.
Let go of the guilt. You don't have to be Superwoman or Superman and save and help everyone. So there is no need to feel guilty when you are not able to make time for something or someone else. You are smart enough to know when a person really needs you and if they need you because it's something truly important you can make time for it. But, if it something you know you can't take on be okay with your decision to let them handle it.
Be Clear. You do not have to explain or give a long list of reasons why you can't do something. You only have to communicate that you are not able to do the request. A simple "I am sorry, but I can't do that right now" or " I can't take that on right now" is all that is needed. Often times we feel as if we need to explain to others the reason why we can't do something. As if to excuse our bad behavior. But, your are not doing something bad by saying no. You are simply stating a fact that at this time you can't do something.
Give yourself permission. This might feel like a funny step but it's an important one. Our inner dialog sets the tone for our day so it's important that you tell yourself that you are a priority and you give yourself permission to not take on everyone else's problems.
Be Polite. When someone asks for your help it most likely means that they can trust and count on you. So, when turning someone down be polite and thank them for trusting you with the task and encourage them to find someone else. For example, " I am glad that you trust me to watch your dogs while on vacation, unfortunately my schedule doesn't allow me to take that on right now and wish you the best in finding the right person for the job.
Finding the right balance. The truth is that there are times in life when we have to do something even though we do not want to. Sometimes, our friends or family just need us and even though we don't have enough time we make time to help them. Life is about balance. When you know yourself well enough, you will know what you can or can not take on.