It’s a normal feeling – for instance, maybe you just spent all week on the run and haven’t had any time to breathe. However, even though all you can think about it staying in bed all day under the covers, you committed every waking minute to plans. Deep down, you feel this underlying dread. You think, “Why didn’t I just say no?” It’s hard to decline to family members, friends, or anyone important for that matter. I know that I do it all the time – overbooking myself so that in the end, I have no time to think. It’s a continuous cycle that is hard to break, especially when it seems that everyone’s demands seem to fall around the same time. While it’s typically good for you to live in the moment and seize all opportunities, sometimes it’s bad for your health if you just continue ignoring your body’s pleas for rest and never take a break. How exactly do you do this if you constantly are worried about disappointing people? While I’ve already done an article called 5 Steps To Gracefully Canceling Plans, this isn’t about the “canceling” as much as the “thinking about yourself” and keeping your sanity. You can’t constantly be selfless and make people happy – sometimes you have to make YOURSELF happy and just say “no” once in a while.
5 Ways To Keep Yourself Sane:
1. Make a point to turn down at least one activity a week. If it’s an overly busy week and there’s something you can cancel, do it. Make time for yourself for at least an hour a day. Even just giving yourself time to read or listen to music is a good use of de-stress time. Basically, anything that makes you feel relaxed is fair game.
2. Tell the family member/friend about your busy schedule and lack of breathing room. If they realize that you’re turning it down because you’re overwhelmed, they’re more likely to understand and be open to a rain-check. Obviously, you can’t turn down the same person too often if you want to keep their trust. If you find yourself turning down one particular person all of the time, ask yourself, “Am I doing this because I need “me-time” or is it because I just don’t really want to see them?” If it’s the latter, it’s best to gracefully stop contacting them and you both can move on to new contacts with no hard feelings.
3. I was happy to find that Oprah gives a very cohesive list of how to say “no” to anything and everything! Obviously, she’s the Queen of Talk, so I feel like her fifty-seven ideas are just something that must be read.
4. Keep your living situation as uncluttered as your schedule. A messy living quarters just makes it less easy to concentrate and you more likely to want to avoid being there. If everything’s clean, you can decompress and feel more comfortable with staying home, therefore, keeping yourself sane.
5. Don’t overestimate how much you can do. Knowing your limits with plans and how much you can handle is an important way to keep yourself from overdoing it. If you can feel comfortable saying “no” when it’s something that’s not immediately important, then you can prioritize better and realize what’s best for your life.
Basically, being yourself, knowing your limits, and being prepared to use your prioritizing power to plan your life is the best way to go. Only you can be the judge as to what you do in your life. Make the right decisions for YOU and stay sane – keep an open mind and know when to say “no” versus “yes we can!”