I used to make plans on plans on plans on plans on plans;
I used to not really say no,
and I used to feel guilty for not attending social events or activities that my friends wanted to see me at.
I didn't spend much time alone, and I rarely considered myself before others.
In hindsight, it was exhausting; but I still tried to keep up with the pace.
Anyone who works a 40+ hour week knows that alone, work itself is enough to deplete your energy. Add in 5 or 6 workouts, meal preparations and time for relaxation, and your whole week is practically scheduled for you! It's crazy.
In order to live this crazy life as fully as we can without disregarding our own health and wellbeing, we have to say "no" sometimes. Sometimes, we need to put ourselves first, and we need to do it with confidence.
When you are feeling tired and depleted, this is your body speaking to you. It's saying, "Please, give me rest, nurture me, let me refuel." Socializing, exercising, and even doing chores around the house all require us to be on task, focused and physically engaged. Notice that all three of these things are good things. Our bodies need a break from even the best things in life, and by saying "no" to some of the good things sometimes, we can allow our bodies and minds to fully replenish themselves for the moments ahead.
How to say no:
- When you are feeling physically weak and exhausted, don't push your body through another workout. Take a day off!
- Take an Epsom Salt bath to soak and heal your tired muscles.
- Sign up for a deep stretch yoga class.
- Rest. Take a nap. Read a book. Light candles.
When you are feeling irritable and sensitive, this is your spirit speaking to you. It's saying, "Please, give us some time to ourselves to work through these emotions and refresh." Whether you are feeling sensitive and irritable because of an increase in hormones during the month, or because you have just come down from a social-heavy weekend, everyone needs time to themselves. It's okay to say "no" to the Friday night bar crawl, and it's okay to say yes to a candle-lit bath instead.
How to say no:
First, it's most important to recognize that you are feeling irritable, upset or sensitive. When you recognize these emotions, accept them and then focus on working through them.
- Say "no" to the social event or activity, even if it's an afternoon workout class with a friend. If you are sensing that you need time alone, do not be afraid to tell your friend that you need exactly that! True friends will understand and might even be proud of you for just doing you.
- Journal how you're feeling. Is this a reoccurring theme each month? Is this a reoccurring theme after social-heavy weekends? Listen and learn from yourself and your emotions.
This bullet speaks heavily to me. For so long, I said "yes" no matter how I was feeling; and I suffered from hormonal imbalance and fatigue because of it. I've noticed that the more I am in tune to how I am feeling, and the more that I cater to my personal wellbeing, the better I consistently feel and the happier I am. Also, my best friends still love me for me, and that's awesome.
When you don't feel motivated or inspired, this is your body, mind and spirit speaking to you. They are saying, "Are we being true to who we are? Are we taking care of ourselves? Are we doing whatever we can in order to live a full life?"
This is a tough one. There are a lot of external and internal factors that play into how motivated, vibrant and inspired you feel about life on a daily basis. Because I am not a psychiatrist or a therapist, the best I can do is point you in the direction of some books and practices that have radically changed my thought process and have helped me build the solid foundation that I stand on today.
- Make sure you are getting the right amount of nutrients. Do you have any deficiencies? A well-balanced diet and vitamin/mineral supplementation can help with symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue, etc. FOOD HEALS. Eating well = feeling well.
- Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Wellness through Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Western Science by Claudia Welch
- If you have concerns about specific symptoms that you are facing, talk to the people that care most about you, your doctor, and also do your own research. There are thousands of resources for people struggling with anything and everything.
- Of course, WomanCode by Alisa Vitti.
- Try downloading Calm. This is the meditation application I use. There are meditations suited for those struggling with anxiety, sadness, irritability, imbalance, insomnia, etc. It's awesome.
- No matter the form, exercise alleviates even the worst of symptoms. Whether you're indoors or outdoors, get moving and I guarantee you won't feel worse. Plus, exercise can be a social event or even a date. Dating a guy that likes to workout is hot. Am I right?
- You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. Omg. Just please read it.
- Once again, meditation.
- Listen to yourself. Practice saying "no" when you need to, and don't be afraid to make choices for yourself. Catering to your wellbeing is the best thing you can do for yourself!
- Go to church. Sit in silence. Write in your journal. Whatever it is, find a way to connect with your own personal inner spirit energy--the kind that no one else can connect to, that's special to you as an individual and solely speaks to your heart.
I am not writing this post only for the extroverts, or introverts. I am writing this because I believe that no matter who you are, saying "no" sometimes saves you from pushing yourself over the edge. What I want for myself is also what I want for others: to be capable of standing up for ourselves and how we feel, be confident in our decisions and choices, and to be radically inspired by each day that we plant our feet into when we get out of bed in the morning. It's okay to say "no" in order to say yes to the things that make us who we are, heal us, help us grow, strengthen us and lead us in the direction of wellness. Listen to yourself, and honor yourself by acting upon what you hear.