With just 2 letters to its name, the word NO is so simple and easy, yet it can be a surprisingly difficult word to say out loud. The truth is, saying NO does not have to be hard, or make you feel guilty, especially when you’re saying it for the sake of your health.
No-one can argue that life isn’t overwhelming at the moment 123d 디자인. In addition to worrying about COVID-19, there are all those other “normal” things that cause stress. The deadlines, the commitments, the financial worries, the family responsibilities… and the list goes on. If your plate is piled high with obligations and you’re feeling as though there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, it might be time to start exercising your right to say NO.
Why say no?
“Saying no can be the ultimate self-care”- Claudia Black
It’s true that saying no is hard, but as you start saying no more often, you also start to reclaim your rights for well-being: confidence, time, control, respect and energy. Knowing why, how and when to say no can help safeguard you from overextending both your physical and emotional boundaries.
Say NO to: COVID
Say YES to: putting yourself and your loved ones first. Turning down an invitation to a big get together increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Let go of the FOMO (fear of missing out) and look at the bigger picture – your health!
Say NO to: spreading yourself too thin
Say YES to: honouring your existing obligations and ensuring that you’ll be able to devote high-quality time to them
Say NO to: doing the same old thing you’ve done for years
Say YES to: the opportunity to try new things
Say NO to: being overcommitted
Say YES to: less stress and a lower risk of burn out
How to say no
It’s important to be able to say no so you feel empowered while still maintaining your relationships with others. Saying no helps you establish healthy boundaries and enables others to have clarity about what they can expect from you.
These guidelines can help you to express your feelings in a considered way:
- Use the actual word ‘NO”. Be careful about using substitutes such as “I’m not sure” or “I don’t think I can.” These can be interpreted to mean that you might say yes later.
- Be quick. Tell the person you can’t do it, and politely decline straight away so that you don’t hold up anyone else’s plans.
- Be honest Explain that you have other commitments and can’t make it.
- Suggest an alternative. Name another person who might be able to take your place.
- Ask for a rain check. Plan for the future so you still show good faith.
- Be ready to repeat. You may need to refuse a request several times before the other person accepts your response. When that happens, just hit the replay button and calmly repeat your no
When to say no
Sometimes it can be hard to know what deserves your time and attention and what doesn’t. Use these strategies to evaluate those obligations (and opportunities) that come your way:
- Focus on what matters most. Is this something you feel strongly about? Is yes, do it, if no, take a pass!
- Weigh the yes-to-stress ratio. Is the new activity you’re considering a short- or long-term commitment? Don’t say yes if it will mean months of added stress.
- Take guilt out of the equation. Don’t agree to a request you would rather decline out of guilt or obligation. Doing so will likely lead to additional stress and resentment.
- Sleep on it. Before you respond, take a day to think about the request and how it fits in with your current commitments. If you can’t sleep on it, at least take the time to think the request through before answering.
Every time you say no to something, you are simultaneously saying yes to something else! Respectfully declining to attend something that would have taken time means you just said yes to using your time for something you’d prefer. This could mean more sleep, getting some exercise, a home cooked meal or time with loved ones. Setting healthy boundaries will help you have the physical and emotional reserve to continue to care for others, without losing yourself in the process.