Knowing the appropriate times to say yes and no is a significant part of self care.
- Saying NO can be a form of self care and IS NOT being selfish. When we say NO we are honoring existing obligations.
- Saying NO can allow you to try new things. Always agreeing to take part in the same events or activities does not expand your skill set or network.
- Saying NO can open the door for others to step up. There have been a few times in my life when others have said no to tasks that have allowed me to take the lead in the situation. In reverse, I have said no to opportunities which have allowed others to take on new responsibilities.
- Saying NO can ease stress in your life. Weigh the stress that saying yes will place on your life. Take time to consider what you will need to change in order to make time for the new task and responsibility. Will the outcome be worth the stress it will place upon your life? Be cautious in regards to eliminating self care time in order to add more to your schedule. Neglecting yourself will only be harmful in the end.
- Be Firm and Say NO. Use the word NO. Don’t be afraid to say it. No is a complete sentence.
- If you feel an explanation is needed, be brief. “That isn’t going to work with my schedule.” “That isn’t going to work for me.” You do not need to provide any further explanation.
- Be Honest. Don’t create an excuse that isn’t real. This will often only backfire and you may be caught which creates even more stress.
- Be Respectful. There will always be good causes and organizations that you want to support. However, their needs may not fit into your schedule. Compliment the work that is going on and share how much you respect them. You may even want to state “I can’t do this ______ but perhaps I could do __________.”
- Be Ready to Repeat. You will likely run into someone who continues to push, hoping they will find you in a weak moment where you change your mind. While my Mom was receiving treatment, I was asked to accept a board position 3 different times (by three different individuals). By the third ask, I found myself looking at my life and wondering if I could make it happen. Fortunately, I was able to stand strong and say No once again.