As we are in the midst of the holiday season, I find myself engaging in more and more conversations, both personally and professionally, around the reality of burn out. With obligations, tasks and even party attendance, it seems to become harder and harder to keep up each year. So why is it we take on so much year after year? Does saying no have to come along with an aftermath of guilt, embarrassment and a label of being insensitive to others feelings and needs?
As I was preparing my reflection on this very topic, my office received the latest subscription to Real Simple Magazine. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the January 2017 cover; “Say Yes to Saying No: Find more time for the things you love”. The article mentions how we are socialized to feel responsible for the feelings and well-being of those around us. As we continue to say yes to more and more, we lose site of our own needs and in return are left feeling resentment, depletion and burnout. Melissa McCreery, Ph.D., a psychologist, provides some great direction stating “Pay yourself first. Self-care is what allows you to show up and say your yeses later”. The article then goes into some great tips on how to say now well.
1. Start Small: Even if it is declining a store credit card.
2. Have a go-to phrase: A simple “Thanks for thinking of me. I have other commitments” will go a far way.
3. Take a pause: Think your decision through and if your not sure take some time and get back with them.
4. Try “yes, no, yes”: YES to the relationship, NO to the request, YES to offering an alternative.
5. Keep it Brief: Be direct and brief which will create less loopholes coming back at you.
6. Don’t White-Lie: There isn’t a need to be specific in reasoning or excuse.
For more information, check out these resources. Our hope is that by saying yes to less you will find more fulfillment and joy through the season. Happy Holiday’s from the Focht Family Practice Team!