The holidays are upon this and with it comes a whirlwind of added expectations and responsibilities. Dealing with difficult family members, balancing work and family life can be an even more overwhelming challenge this time of year. I came across a quote recently that really resonated with me. "When you say yes to one thing you are saying no to something else." Think about that for a minute. Many times we say yes to other people's expectations of us, requests of us based on their needs and wants, not necessarily what we need or want for ourselves. Often we have a desire to help others and be available for friends and family but if you don't set boundaries, you can find yourself stretched thin and taken advantage of by others because they know you will say yes. This can leave you feeling resentful and angry. Its time to step back and recognize what are your priorities? How do you want to spend your time this holiday season? The secret is to determine what your top three priorities are and manage your time in that direction. What are you saying NO to for yourself if you constantly say YES to every request that comes your way? If you don't make those conscious decisions on how you spend your time daily someone else will make them for you. It is time to build your strength behind saying NO to requests that you don't want to do or don't reflect your priorities. This means saying NO without guilt and not overthinking how the other person will respond.
Reframe your self-talk when you say NO to something like "I am making the best decision for myself" and let it go. It does not help you to ruminate on the decision or worry too much about it. Consider how you can take better care of yourself this holiday season and make that part of your priorities. If you are properly caring for yourself, mentally, physically and emotionally= you will have more energy, feel more grounded and be better able to handle whatever stresses come your way. It will also make it easier to say NO to other future requests. It might take some practice but you can do it!