There was probably a time you welcomed invitations to do things, go places, serve on boards or volunteer. But life has become, what’s the word…NUTTY! None of us are looking for one more thing to do. Most are trying to figure out how to do less and how to say NO!

Next time you’re asked or invited to do something you don’t want to do…STOP and try this:

  1. If you instantly feel “Nooooo!” in your bones, or even resentment, overwhelm or dread – PAUSE. Your body is signaling to you. Breathe deeply and listen. Ask yourself what is it saying? (Your body always knows.)
  2. Put space between the request and your answer. Make it a habit to say, “I have to check my calendar,” or “I need to see if I can take this on right now”. (When you get back to them, they may have already found another volunteer!)
  3. Or, if you’re certain you don’t want to do XYZ, experiment with saying NO. Or, no thank you, if you must. (The world will not end. Honestly, you’ll see.)
  4. If the request is from your boss or is an ongoing commitment (board, child’s team, church…) and you feel compelled to say yes, attempt to negotiate deadlines or other aspects of the request. If possible, say: “I’d like to do this, but realistically, here’s what I can do in the time frame,” or, “Yes, but I’ll need some additional resources (more staff, volunteers, budget…).”

Chronic stress from over-commitment coupled with the pandemic is wreaking havoc on many women’s lives and health. Honor your energy, time and well-being. if you’re already over-extended, exhausted or simply don’t want to do (whatever), you have the right to say NO. Your health may depend on it. Extreme times call for extreme self-care.

Check out this month’s Orange Appeal Magazine – my article is on p. 28


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