Overwhelmed with endless to-do lists or demands on your time, and unsure how to ease some of that pressure? We asked writer, Emma Stretton, for her take on the power of 'No'.
Spa breaks are amazing aren’t they? And brunch with friends makes the world go round. But do you know what is the most underrated form of self-care? Saying no. When life can be so frenetic and the pressures don’t seem to stop mounting up, sometimes just taking a step back and admitting you can’t do everything can be all the catharsis you need.
Don’t get me wrong, a day away from the strains of laundry and food shopping and all the other must-dos really does do wonders for the mind, body and soul. Ironically though, there isn’t often time to squeeze in that much self-indulgence. Which is why I’ve found the simplest solution is often those two little letters.
Another cake sale at school, another dinner party to host or another birthday gift to chip in for? Don’t do it, I dare you! Society today thrives on the need to be nice, to keep up the appearance that we have it all sewn up even when we are fraying at the edges. That’s how we end up falling apart.
You’re not a bad person for turning down an invite or telling your colleague that you’ve got too much on to be able to help them. The fear of speaking up is often much worse than actually doing it and, in fact, the knots you tie yourself up in wondering how you’re going to do it all are far more likely to choke you than the sound of the word ‘no’.
What’s more, what kind of person judges another for taking care of their own wellbeing anyway? If you’re worried about what someone will think, maybe that someone isn’t so good for you (but then that’s a whole other topic altogether)!
We all understand the cut and thrust of modern life, with its socialising and social media and so-many-things-to-keep-up-with. By saying ‘no’ you might just inspire someone else to do the same and you might start living a life where you have the time to do more of the things that enthuse, enrich and enliven you.
When it comes to self-care, they say a change can be as good as a rest. So why not try it?
Make a change and try saying ‘no’. It won’t suddenly give you enough time to go on that spa break but it will give you some head space and, sometimes, that’s more restful than any full body massage could ever be.
Emma Stretton is a freelance writer from Manchester who believes in self-confidence, doing what you love and not being a jerk.
Find her at emmawritesitall.com
Follow her on Instagram @emma.wears.it.all