04 Feb Your Most Powerful Self-Care Tool Is Saying No
You’ve got a choice here – you’re facing down that yes-or-no decision once again. What are you going to do? Are you saying yes because you want to or because it’s easier? Are you the friendly co-worker that always bakes the office cake? The partner who yes, of course, to run some errands on short notice? Nodding to all of the above is no crime. It’s more common than you think. It’s just that there’s a delicate balancing act between being helpful and generous and making sure you allocate time and energy to you as well — self-care goals.
A lot of us are saying yes to a lot of things, giving too much of ourselves. Self-care often falls down our priority list. Sometimes we don’t want to do, but quite frankly, saying no feels like a hassle, a bigger deal than it’s worth.
Before we get to the four practical tips on how to say no to start living your most powerful life yet, here’s a little of the why it might be worth giving it a go.
Saying Yes vs No.
If you are saying yes to everything, just because you are a bit nervous about what will unfold if you declined, you’re not alone. We all are in this one together. Taking a more ‘comfortable’ option is easier for the time being. Unfortunately, over time, your people-pleasing and spreading yourself a bit too thin will most likely catch up with you. #TRUTH Neglecting your personal needs over the needs of others can result in several things. Again, we are all in the same “yes”-boat floating through life. And it’s time we picked up the oars. You will live a more empowered and happier life by just saying the little word “no”.
Let’s not beat around the bush, saying “no” isn’t always the easiest thing to do. You might feel you are letting others down by not complying with their requests. But trust us, over time and feeling potentially awkward practice, you can overcome your nervousness around saying “no”. Most importantly, after a while, you will begin to realise the world wouldn’t fall apart if you weren’t holding it up. You’re not selfish by declining a lunch catch up with friends over a date with your yoga mat. #TRUTH After all, no one asks you to be a “yes”-sayer; it’s a title you unknowingly gave yourself.
Your most powerful self-care tool.
What is self-care to you? Escaping your hectic life and taking time out with perhaps treating yourself to a massage, bubble bath or time out on the sofa with a cuppa. However, life-changing self-care encompasses more than bubble baths and massages. Powerfully caring for yourselves starts with creating a life you don’t need to escape from.
And this means getting familiar with your thoughts and emotions (ALL of ’em) to dig deeper and spark personal growth. The more that you focus on your emotional self-care work — saying “no” and setting boundaries, for example — the more cared for you’ll begin to feel.
Learning to say no has the power to clear your calendar of commitments you’re not passionate about. Let’s be honest; do you enjoy baking every birthday office cake? There’s a lot of birthdays with 20 colleagues around. It was fun first, but now not so much. It has the potential to encourage you to show up as the best version of yourself when you do decide to say “yes”. YES to that!
Instead of continually spreading yourself too thin, the word no can ensure that you’re dedicating your time and energy to those who deserve it most, starting with yourself. #selfcaregoals
So now that we’ve got the ‘why’, here’s some support with the all-important ‘how’.
4 Tips on how to say no to others:
- Keep it short and simple — your no does not always require an explanation. Nor does it require you to go all “what part of n-o do you not understand” … Just short and sweet and solid. Remember: practices makes permanent.
- Honour your priorities. Get clear on your top priorities at the moment and in the future — say yes/no accordingly. You will see instant changes. It’ll help you hold firm when you need to.
- It’s essential to keep in mind that your “no” can come from a place of love, rather than fear. This word will empower and encourage you to show up as your best self and be fully present in each moment.
- The practice of embracing your no-power can serve as the most supportive and transformational type of self-care. Self-care is your number one priority. Remember you cannot give from an empty cup.
Experience it for yourself, how these two letters will elevate your life. It is a lot of hard and often challenging work, but you’ll soon feel more powerful and grounded than ever before. People-pleasing adios! Don’t get us wrong; you don’t need to say “no” to everything from now on. Of course, you can still say “yes” to favours or requests, but remember, to quickly think about your priorities and what you want, before blurting out your “yes”. Old habits die slow. And yes, some people might get grumpy once you start changing from the yes-gears into no, but they will get over it. They probably envy you, leading your best life over in your corner. Go you!
Say Yes to all the meditation practices.
Naturally, there will be times when your life gets too busy, wondering how you’re going to make time for self-care at all. Especially your time on the mat is taking the back seat. No worries, we have got you covered. Power Living‘s online yoga studio, yogaholics, gives you 24/7 access to all the yoga flows and meditation practices. So, whenever you are running out of time to make it to your yoga class, say “yes” and invite your favourite yoga teachers into your home, turning your living room into your unique yoga oasis. How good is that?
To start you off on your “saying no” journey, “say yes” to making yourself your number one priority. Find a comfy seat and let Duncan Parviainen guide you through this Loving Kindness Meditation. The more you practice this one, the more joy you will feel in general life.
Are you ready to live your most empowered life yet?
Original article appeared in MindBodyGreen