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December Self-Care Challenge Day 15: Just Say No

We are all busy my friends, and the demands on our time seem to never end. Add to that our society has built up a belief system that we HAVE to say yes to whatever is asked of us. Well, I’m here to inform you that you don’t have to say yes.

What did Emily just say?!?! That goes against everything you’ve been taught right? I know my friends, and this is a hard ask because I also recognize that when we say no to something someone asks of us, it generates a feeling of guilt and even selfishness within us. Plus, we often wonder what others may think of us if we say no.

Let me remind you that self-care is all about promoting wellbeing and health. How then is it healthy to say yes to things we either don’t feel we can manage to do with the load we are already carrying, or simply because we don’t want to do it?

When we say no to things it promotes the following within us:

Claims Your Value

When you tell someone no you set forth your values and let’s others know that you value your own time and energy. It’s okay to let people know that you are not willing to give up your tie and energy on a task that they present to you.

Gain Respect

People will actually respect you more, and value you more, when they know that they can not walk all over you. I am not saying to be forceful or mean in doing this, a gentle and respectful declining of something is more powerful than a strong, negative reaction to a request. By standing your ground in a gently firm manner, you will become more confident in your own judgement as well.

Be More Confident

When you begin to recognize the value you place on your own time and energy, you will come to feel more confident in your abilities. When you are not filling up your day with countless requests from others and can focus on the needs that you have developed, your confidence in yourself will grow.

Have More Time

Saying no to things, will give you more time to focus on your own needs and endeavors, such as family time, or that hobby you’ve always wanted to get into. By placing your needs first, you actually provide an avenue of growth.

Now, I am not advocating for you to say no to everything here my friends. No, what I am promoting is that you make a judgement call. The next time someone asks you to take up a new project, work overtime, or volunteer at another event; take a moment to contemplate if the request aligns with your values.

  • Does it provide an opportunity for you to grow as an individual?

  • Does it provide a method of connecting with others?

  • Or does it put pressure on you that is unreasonable?

As you do this you will gain more time on your calendar for yourself.

TO NOTE: I am not giving you free reign to say no to everything but rather to be more thoughtful in what you say YES to.

When your partner asks you to take out the trash or help clean the dishes, we don’t need to sit there and decide if it aligns with our values, because quite frankly daily chores is a part of everyday life (Psst and here’s a secret: doing the chores can actually be an act of self-care)! No, I am talking about the bigger asks in life. Those are the opportunities to take time and reflect before jumping into something simply because you will feel guilty if you don’t say yes to the asker.


There are other ways of clearing time on your calendar beyond just saying no. I suggest taking a look at your to do lists (remember the brain dump activity from Day 2? Now’s a good time to bring that out); and your calendar.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I feel is right for me to do?

  • What can I delegate?

  • What have I placed on my calendar/to do list that is adding pressure and not joy to my life?

Once you have asked these questions, I suggest highlighting at least one thing in this next week that you can remove or delegate to someone else. Thus, freeing up your time for yourself.

In addition, all this provides you with that confidence and value building that I mentioned before which is very important when implementing self-care.

Remember, if you do not take care of yourself, no one else will. Not because they do not love or respect, or want to help you, but when you place yourself last on the list, it gives others permission to do the same to you.

So today let’s put yourself first my friends!

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