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April 30, 2018

When it's OK to Say No: Taking Time for Yourself

It's amazing how quickly life can get busy. We start taking on one thing after another, and suddenly were completely stressed without understanding how everything got so out of control.

The trick to dealing with these stressful times is knowing when to take a step back. Nobody wants to be a flake and back out of commitments, but sometimes it's necessary to be sure you're taking care of yourself and your own well-being. There are some perfectly understandable times to say no in order to take some time to yourself.

Times When it's Completely OK to Say "No"

When you're sick.

There's never a good time to come down with an illness. But hey, everyone gets sick. Your friends will understand if you stay home. It is better for you to say "no" and heal rather than rally and have that illness hang around for longer.

When your lack of attendance wont be noticed.

If it's a large event that many people will be attending, this may be a good time to back out. Although surely your friends or family would love to have you there, plenty of others will be around to distract them.

When you're snapping at the little things.

If you already have a short fuse from being overly stressed, don't place that burden on others. You wouldn't want to inadvertently make a bigger problem just by showing up in a bad mood.

When you're running on low sleep.

We've mentioned before how important a good night's sleep is for your health. Missing one night, let alone a few nights of good restful sleep will throw your stress levels completely out of whack. If you're already lacking sleep and you can take the night to make up for some much needed rest, then do so.

Be respectful of those your canceling on and make them aware of your situation. They've most likely been in the exact same circumstances and will completely understand. If a friend gets upset, remember that anger may not be about you but about something else entirely. It is better for you to be in the right frame of mind to be present and engaged, rather than stressed and exhausted.

Where to Cut Back When You Need Time to Yourself

  • Social media.
    Scrolling through endless pages of posts and pictures while staring at a screen is not a healthy way to chill out. Neither is posting new updates or responding to messages. Turn off the phone and set it aside. You can do it!
  • Projects.
    Although this is a general term, think about all the projects you try to address every day. From trying to lose weight, remodeling your home, or taking on more assignments at school or work, there are always a million things to do. It's OK to shelve a project for a little while to get back to a calmer frame of mind.
  • Distractions.
    We're constantly being bombarded by commercials and advertisements. Turn off the television, power off your computer, and switch off the radio. Relax for a moment, take a deep breath, and enjoy some silence. Looking for more tips on how to practice more self care every day? Check out this post!

[Credit: Fields Millburn, Joshua. An Apology. The Minimalists.]