The power of saying no

Do you struggle with finding time for yourself? For any kind of self-care? Have you ever really drilled into why?

Everything on your to-do list is there because you said yes to it. Whether explicitly or by allowing others to put it there.

Pause and reflect on this for a second. How does that statement sit with you? Are you accepting of it? Are you mentally justifying why certain things are there?

Sometimes we don’t feel like we have a choice, but in reality we often do (granted, not always, we still have to feed the kids, pay the bills, etc., but there’s so much more that fills our busy days that doesn’t fall into this pile). And whilst ‘no’ can seem like a difficult thing to say, it’s much harder running yourself into the ground trying to spin ALL of the plates.

So take a few minutes to consider your priorities and values and how they compare to the many things you feel responsible for on a daily basis. What impact has saying yes had on you, on your family, and on what’s important to you? What is the impact of continuing to say yes? What will you miss out on? How could you change things?

Only you can decide what’s right for you and your family, but here are some things to consider:

  • Saying no to others is actually saying yes to yourself and what’s important.
  • Be more toddler! ‘No’ is a full sentence that little ones are brilliant at saying with ease and determination. You don’t have to justify yourself! You can soften the blow if you feel you need to by saying “no, I’m sorry, I can’t” and leave it at that. Alternatively you could suggest another avenue for the other person to explore, but don’t get drawn into taking the task on.
  • On that theme, could someone else take responsibility? Whether that be by delegation or by paying someone else to do it for you (like the cleaning or ironing). Yes, there might be a financial cost of the second option, but weigh up the bigger picture and what it frees you up to do or earn. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Say yes to more things that bring you joy or allocate yourself a specific time to do things for you. Either way, it’ll leave you with even less time to take on things that should be in your ‘no’ pile!

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