Do you sometimes feel as if you're being taken advantage of or being pulled in a million directions? Are you a pushover or do you find yourself doing things for others that you really don't want to do? If you feel like you should have "Welcome" tattooed somewhere on your body there are things you can do!!!
As women we're often raised to be nurturing and giving. We feel like we should do all we can to help others and to be available to friends and family. But sometimes it goes too far. When you're being pushed and pulled and stressed out by other people it's time to step back and take a look at your own life and your own mental health.
Of course your job provides some stress and there are people and tasks that you can't say no to in your career. But look around at your co-workers, friends and family. Are they demanding of your time outside of work? Do you find yourself spending your days off doing things for others when you'd rather be at home with your hubby, or kids or just all by yourself?
The best advice I've ever seen for dealing with others who ask, demand or want things from you is that "NO can be a complete sentence". You don't have to make an excuse, you don't have to have a reason. Whether you have other plans or simply don't want to do something for someone you can say NO.
It's important at this point to mention that others may not respect this new attitude and will also feel the need to say NO if you need something out of spite or anger or hurt feelings. But as with everything you say, the decision is yours, and if you don't want to do something to help someone you don't have to, just as no one has to help you if they don't want to.
Many women worry about this because they are concerned that family members or friends will not like them or be angry if they tell them no about something. The things is those people count on you to handle things or help them because you've made it possible for them to do so. Sure, we all want to help the people around us to some extent but for me the most freeing thing ever was realizing that if people only like me because I do things for them then they aren't real friends anyway.
You must make time for yourself- each and every day. Whether it's half an hour or a few hours it is important that you have some time to yourself without anyone wanting anything from you. If it means telling people NO in order to have that personal time, then learning to use NO un-apologetically and without guilt is the best lesson you can learn.
Until you stand up for yourself and decide what you will and won't do- everyone will continue to take advantage of your good nature and giving attitude. Of course you don't have to be hateful about your decision but always put yourself first when it comes to being concerned about hurting someone's feelings. Your mental health is just as important as the people around you and if you find that most of your stress comes from other people then it's time to make a stand, stop letting them push you around and fight the urge to feel guilty for saying NO.
Occasionally I find myself in a position where someone is asking me for a favor which will interrupt my work day because I work at home, or they need something that will take me away from "alone time" with the man. I evaluate the stress it will cause to perform these tasks and decide whether it works for me before I say yes. This keeps me from having to let someone down at a later time because I didn't schedule in their favor or from finding myself overstressed and irritable because I did the favor for them.
Always remember, that you, your family, your relationship, and your career come before various friends and family members who want to suck up your time. It's not being selfish to prioritize and say NO when necessary.
by Sass Ashe
My name is Suz and I'm just an everyday woman who is trying to figure out when exactly I turned old. I'm not a doctor or an expert- what I am is a woman who wants to know for myself and to share what I learn with other women.
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