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Finding Our “No”

Finding Our "No"

Finding Our “No”

Exhausted because you spread yourself too thin again?
Feeling overwhelmed with too much on your plate?

Well, you’re not alone. Many of us are driven to help others, to be more, and do more. Whether it’s external pressure stretching us too far or our own false sense of responsibility pushing us over the top, it is taking its toll on us. Without proper self-care, we are headed down a road of increased stress, weakened immune systems, and relational break-downs.

I was careening down that road until I discovered one life-changing habit that truly had the power to save me from the unending demands of life. Amidst endless choices and opportunities, I learned to find my “no.”

Learning how to say “no” was difficult for me at first because I used to fall prey to the myths that tell us that it’s rude, they’ll be upset with me, I’m not allowed to, they won’t love me, etc.  However, I learned the hard way that making excuses instead of putting limits on what I did seriously affected my own health and emotional needs. After a while, I had nothing left to give. But, learning to say “no” helped me change that.

To find my “no”, I had to:

  • acknowledge that I was worth the time I took for myself
  • learn to listen to my body and my mind

The truth is true friends will never be upset with you for taking steps to stay healthy and love yourself. (Honestly, would you want help from a person who is hanging on by a thread and barely thinking clearly? There’s a reason we put the oxygen mask on ourselves first before we help others with theirs!)  But sometimes, the problem is us.  We forget that we are valuable for who we are, not what we do.  And, who are we?  People who need to rest and re-fuel in between the doings of their lives.  We must begin to intentionally limit the activities, even good ones, that we are involved in and protect time to recover body, mind, and spirit from the perpetual motion of life.

We also need to get good at listening to the truth our bodies are speaking to us. Do we feel anxious when we are asked to add something to our schedules? Do we have a gut feeling that we really don’t want to do what is being asked of us?  Our bodies and minds might be trying to tell us “no”.  Are we listening?

Hey, it’s a journey, right?  But, little by little, one “no” at a time, we can be healthier travelers, if we put our minds to it!

Cheers…to loving yourself, keeping better boundaries, and finding your “no”.

June Jeung & Katherine Carter

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