Why Saying No Is an Act of Self-Care

When it comes to saying no, does anyone else struggle with this BIG time? With deadlines to meet, conversations to have and to-do lists to complete, everything can seem urgent – but setting boundaries, even with ourselves, helps us prioritize what we need to do right now for our mental, emotional and physical health vs. what we can do later. Basically, it’s a way to show up for yourself and honor your current thoughts and emotions.

I consider saying no as an act of self-care because you’re choosing to put yourself, your mental health and your energetic bandwidth first. Think of it this way: saying no to others says yes to you. I think we’re often pouring from a glass that’s already empty, so saying no can free up a lot of time and energy that you can spend recharging, whether it’s resting, practicing mindfulness or just doing something that you love.

Saying no can also serve as a productivity hack. Whenever I take on too many commitments and spread myself thin, my will – along with my time and energy – to get anything done basically evaporates. I get a lot of questions from you guys about how I stay motived with my lifestyle and commitments, which I answered in my most recent solo episode on TBF Podcast. The best way to stay productive is to minimize stress, avoid wasting time and learning how to say no. There have been so many situations where I have said yes because it was easier than finding ways to say no, but remember that you are NOT doing yourself any favors here! Saying yes to things you don’t mean is an easy way to overwhelm yourself and become frustrated by your obligations. Value your time, know your priorities and don’t apologize for setting boundaries.

Setting boundaries might be scary, but it can actually show people how you want to be treated. It can ensure that your relationships are mutually respectful and caring. Setting personal boundaries is also a great way to self-reflect, affirm your own needs and maintain a positive self-concept.

Many people are quick to say yes and too slow to say no, so saying no is worth the practice. One rule of thumb I like to go by is asking myself, “If I had to do this today, would I agree to it?” It’s all about gauging your energy levels and putting you and your mental health first!

Is saying no in your self-care practice? I’d love to hear your favorite ways to politely say N-O!

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