Let’s face it, we can all get overwhelmed in life. We have our jobs, families, workout routines, cooking, TV shows we want to watch, and social lives. It can be easy to feel like we are running on empty when we are just getting through our daily routines. As a woman, I know that it can be hard to say no when someone asks you to add one more thing to your already filled up plate; so how do we do just that? How can we be courteous and say no? In today’s article, we are talking about how to say no when you are too overwhelmed.
Think About What’s Truly Important
Though there might be some things you can drop from your hectic schedule, there might be some things you can’t. Like your job or feeding your children. But, take a look at the things that are stressing you out each month, and see if you are able to cut back on any of those. Do you really need to be leading that young mom’s group? Do you need to sign up to volunteer for everything on the PTA? Is that gym class you signed up for with your friends helping or hurting you? Consider what brings you joy and what doesn’t. If it doesn’t make you feel better or someone else feel better than it might be worth cutting out of your life.
Make A List Of What Can’t Go
Like I stated above, look over your monthly schedule and see where you can cut some corners. But, make sure that you make an accurate schedule of the things that absolutely can’t go. This would be appointments, hanging out with friends or family, work events, date nights with your husband, etc. Practice writing this down each month. Why? Because this will help give you a picture of what you do have time to say yes to. Maybe you are really free Sunday afternoons, so, if someone asks you for help, you can volunteer your time on Sunday afternoons. You can’t outspend yourself if you accurately know how much time you can give.
Don’t Give An Answer Right Away
If someone asks you to help them or help out an organization, don’t feel bad taking some time to think about it. They will respect that you want to weigh all your options. Also, you want to make sure that you can commit and give your best at this job. Take some time to think about it, and even ask trusted friends and family about it before you say yes or no. If they are crunched for time and absolutely can’t wait, then you have your answer.
Ask Yourself What You’ll Be Giving Up
It’s great to say yes to someone and make their day, but realize that every yes comes with a no. This could be saying no to spending time with your kids, your family, or even your best friends. Or, saying no to cleaning the house when you want or cooking a great dinner for your family. Make sure that you give your yes, knowing fully what you are saying no to in return.
Even if your answer is a no, be polite in your response. If someone gets defensive and upset with your response, try to stay calm and not raise your voice. You don’t have to apologize for knowing how much you can handle and handle well.
Don’t Make Up An Excuse
Don’t use a friend, family member, or your kids as the reason you can’t-do something. Yes, they might be the reason, but if they aren’t, don’t lie about it. Maybe you just want to lay around on a Saturday morning instead of volunteering at the school bake sale; that is ok. You don’t have to apologize to anyone for the reason you decide not to do something. So, be honest. Remember that you don’t want it to accidentally get back to someone later that you lied.
Understand It Might Make People Angry
Some people will be genuinely upset with you when you say no to them. Understand that and try your best to apologize. But, your health and your time are important. You will not be able to do anything well if you spread yourself too thin. So give that person some space after you refuse their offer. Try not to take it personally if they lash out at you or get annoyed. The truth is that those people are overwhelmed and tired themselves, they just don’t know how to priorize what’s really important.
In conclusion, it’s ok to say no to someone, frankly, it’s healthy at times. Practice the steps I have listed above and you’ll soon be on your way to a more balanced life.
For tips on having a more organized life, check out our article here.