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To be quite frank, I’m likely the least qualified individual to be writing a post such as this one because saying “no”…. well it’s simply just not in my nature, and I’d wager that if you chose to read this article based on its title alone, well you’re not much of a “no” kind of person either.
Welcome to the club! Where membership admittance is based on hours logged of daily work commitments, and nights are filled with a tireless string of draining social/familial obligations. Weekends? Well, you can pretty much write those off too! Who needs a “me day” anyways right?! Those are for the weak…
Or is it? Perhaps saying “yes” all the time is really what’s making US weak. GASP!
Why Saying “Yes” All the Time is Really Unhealthy
Seriously, though… how’s your health and fitness level been lately? I know that for me personally, the past year or so has been one of the most rewarding both personal and career-wise, and I’ve honestly never felt more fulfilled in each arena, but (and there is a but), this has also been one of THE unhealthiest times of my life. Sleepless nights, unhealthy eating habits, and going months on end without so much as stepping
Sleepless nights, unhealthy eating habits, and going months on end without so much as stepping foot inside of a gym have become somewhat of the new norm for me. A normal that I am SO not okay with.
The cold hard truth for us “yes people” is that being a people pleaser can have some pretty unhealthy consequences. Depression, anxiety, health problems, and harboring resentment are all potential possibilities for the seemingly nice, helpful and hardworking people pleasers.
Oftentimes, our efforts are so laser focused on taking care of others, or fulfilling obligations in fear of disappointing others, that we’ve forgotten (or simply just don’t have the time), to take care of ourselves. Somehow along the way, we’ve completely jam packed our days, and find that we no longer have time to go to the gym, plan healthy meals, or take a day to simply destress and spend time doing the things that we enjoy! Consequently, we may even start to
Consequently, we may even start to resent the very people we can’t say “no” to! I know I’ve been there, silently stewing over the never ending mountain of tasks or social events that, quite frankly, I’ve bestowed upon MYSELF because I’m scared to death of a silly, little meaningless word.
Stress, & resentment… sounds like a bit of a daunting future, right?
Well my fellow people pleasers, it’s time to put our big boy pants on and practice the art of saying that ever so daunting, yet simultaneously beautiful, monosyllabic word: NO.
No. No. No. No. NO!
Feeling better? SAME!
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How I Trained Myself to Set Healthy Boundaries
Truth be told, I had actually pledged a personal, “no campaign” with myself this New Year, and it really is truly refreshing! Although there are moments where I find it excruciatingly hard to say “no” to certain obligations, I’ve established certain “non-negotiables” that I MUST uphold on a weekly basis; if I’m asked to do anything that interferes with my non-negotiables, my answer to these “said requests” must always be, you guessed it… NO!
1. Non-negotiable One: I MUST eat paleo Monday-Friday.
As I had mentioned above, due to overcommitting myself to various obligations, my healthy eating habits definitely took a back seat. Fast, and easy convenience was absolutely key because I simply didn’t have time to plan out healthy, nutritious meals. So THIS particular non-negotiable has been a lifesaver!
I’ve dabbled with the paleo diet in the past, and have always found that it really works for my body – I feel better, have more energy and my stomach bloating has significantly decreased! It’s also a relatively easy lifestyle for me to follow during the work week, and fits in nicely with my schedule; i.e. Not much planning involved!
The weekend? Well, let’s just say if I want the baguette, I’ll eat the baguette (in moderation, of course). Honestly, I’m human, and if I do not allow myself these small “luxuries,” the lifestyle is simply not going to last very long.
Lesson Learned: Put your health first! If you’re eating habits have taken a hit, find a healthy “eating lifestyle” that works best for both your body and your schedule! Something that is easy to maintain, yet healthy and sustainable. Don’t let saying “yes” get in the way of your eating habits!
2. Non-negotiable Two: I MUST work out three times per week.
This one was a biggie! I had really noticed the effects of not going to the gym, and my confidence definitely took a bit of a nose dive. I knew that it was time to finally do something about my fitness situation when I found myself breathless upon reaching the top of the stairs!
Now I understand that three times per week may not seem like a lot, but I’m going for baby steps here – the emphasis is on something that is sustainable!! I’ve also decided to not restrict myself to certain “workout days”; as long as I am working out three days per week… I’m okay with it!
Lesson Learned: Decide how many times you would like to be active during the week; if anything interferes with this… you need to say “no”!
3. Non-negotiable Three: I MUST not do anything on Sundays.
Sundays are my very new favorite day of the ENTIRE week! I used to work literally every day, but have since decided to dedicate Sundays to doing absolutely NOTHING, and it is pure bliss!
This gives both my body and my mind a chance to digest the happenings of the week prior and essentially turn “off” for the day; watch mindless television, have a bath… the options of “nothing” are endless!
Lesson Learned: Set aside non-negotiable “me time” every single week, whether this is a day, an hour, or even thirty minutes to allow yourself to de-stress and relax. You are NOT allowed to schedule anything during these non-negotiable “me times”… PERIOD!
4. Non-negotiable Four: I MUST be in bed at 11:30 pm.
I literally despise when I do not get enough sleep during the night! The next day I always feel like an unproductive zombie, merely going through the motions instead of being a productive member of society that produces meaningful or quality work. Sleep is so integral to our overall health and wellbeing; it is truly the one time where our body allows itself to rest and repair itself!
Over the past few months, I’ve established a pretty foolproof night routine that allows me to be in bed by 11:30 pm. If anyone in the household asks me to do something that would keep me awake past 11:30 pm, I have to decline simply.
Lesson Learned: Get enough sleep! No ifs, ands or buts about it!
When we begin to manage our health and wellness, we have more energy to put into the things that we actually enjoy. Sure you may say “yes” to some friends when they ask you to go out, but if you’re drained, exhausted and practically non-responsive during your outings… are they really going to enjoy that time spent with you?
Although we people pleasers are a special breed that aims to please, we’re really not doing anyone ANY favors! If we continue our tirade of “yes”, eventually we’ll wear down and won’t be able to dedicate as much of our time or energy to our loved ones and work in the long run, anyways!
Through establishing certain non-negotiables for ourselves, and in turn becoming a healthier more energetic person, we can dedicate more meaningful and productive time to ourselves, our loved ones and our fulfilling careers.
So what do ya say to this new way of life? You’re totally allowed to say “yes” in this particular instance… just this one time, though 😉
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