Step 3 of the Lifestyle Solution focuses on how to say “No.” Saying No to your loved ones, friends and colleagues becomes especially more difficult during this time of the year. It is my hope that this blog will help you keep your holiday stress to a minimum this season simply by learning how to say “No!”
For many of us, our earliest childhood holiday memories were magical and carefree. But then we grew into more worried and frazzled adults, often falling victim to the season’s high expectations. Holiday stress has become almost as much a tradition as trimming the tree. So much so that some beleaguered folk have begun to refer to this time of year as “Stress-mas.”
By saying “yes” to every holiday invitation and demand that comes your way, you could wind up exhausted and possibly broke. You should instead reflect on what you cherish most about the holidays, whether it’s sending greeting cards to friends and loved ones, baking cookies, tree decorating, making plans to visit with family and friends, or just relaxing. When you know your priorities, you can turn down the less important things and then it becomes easier to say ‘no’ if you know what you’re saying ‘yes’ to.
Undesirable situations in our lives are often the result of failing to listen to our innermost feelings. This can lead us to overcommit ourselves, over push ourselves, or become involved in something that is not what we truly want. By learning to say “No” to whatever is detrimental to your well-being, and instead following your innermost feelings, you will feel a revived sense of contentment in your life and in the choices you make.
No one else knows our thoughts and feelings as much as we do, so it is up to us to establish our own boundaries and remain firm about what we can or can’t do. It’s too easy in today’s fast paced world to take on too many commitments. Often we say ‘yes’ out of a sense of obligation or perhaps because we don’t want to hurt others’ feelings. However it is when you don’t learn to say “No” that your stress levels rise as you not only fall overextended but also taken for granted.
A few tips on how to say “No.”:
Learn to say “No” to demands and requests that are no in line with your true desires. Don’t commit to obligations that you do no have the time necessary time and energy for.
Learn to discern your innermost feelings.
Record decisions that you’ve made and how you made them, so you can learn from their outcomes at a later date and compare similar situations in the future.
Practice following your innermost feelings, so that regardless of whether things work out the way you want them to, you know that you have done your best and been true to yourself.
Saying “No” won’t be easy, especially if you’re used to saying yes all the time. But learning to say “No” is an important part of simplifying your life and managing your stress. And with practice, you may find saying no gets easier. So this holiday season, if you want to avoid Christmas from become “Stress-mas”, I suggest that instead of saying say “ho ho ho” why not try “no, no, no”?