Just Say NO
One of my favorite (and most personally challenging) self-care tips is saying “no.” As most of us are stretched thinner and thinner, the holidays can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. So as we go into this holiday season, watch out for those times that you know you shouldn’t do something, and….don’t do it!
I know, easier said than done. I’ve been there - when someone asks you to do something and in the moment it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but as whatever it is creeps closer you start to dread it, or feel resentment, or want to crawl under your big down comforter and hide.
Fortunately, I’ve found a few ways around this. One is to say no right away - that’s the hard one, especially for the people pleasers. But it can feel really good once you’ve given it a try a few times.
Of course, the invitation might be something you really feel you want to do. Even in those times, I like to say, “let me think about it” or “let me check my schedule.” This way I can check in with myself, and my family, and think about whether I’m already overbooked for that time frame. Already have 2 parties that weekend? Will we have family in town? Do I just need to rest for no reason other than I need to rest?
Another option is the “fly-by.” Especially useful for parties, this lets you attend but bail if you aren’t having a great time. Early in the event, I like to do a check in - am I having fun? Is this nourishing my soul or is it wearing me out? I think it’s no big secret that I’m more of an introvert, so these are important questions for me to ask at social events. Sometimes I can just hide out in a corner and recharge, and sometimes I travel separately from my social-butterfly husband so I can go home if needed.
Lastly, I’ve given up on worrying about whether people think I’m weird for these behaviors. That’s just one more energy drain that I don’t need.
So, this holiday season, be sure to put yourself first, check in, and when it feels right, just say NO!