A Healthy No

A Healthy No
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Say “no” to people pleasing and overindulgence disguised as self-care.

Earlier this year I watched a webinar with Gabor Mate titled “When the Body Says No”. And like any good clinician, I took notes on his talk and have barely reviewed them since. Then my mom recommended a book by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith on rest. This can’t all be coincidental. We’re in a season of busyness, but for a lot of us, busy is our default. When someone asks us how we’re doing, we say “busy” or “stressed”. We make sure we tell everyone “I’ve had so much going on lately”, as if we didn’t have a hand in creating the “much”. Will there be times when our responsibilities increase at work and at home? Of course. But how much of this is created by us, rather than just being the stuff of life? What are you adding to your already overflowing plate that doesn’t need to be there?

By now you know what I’m getting at, you’ve listened to the podcasts and read the books on boundaries but you’re still having a hard time. You’ve gotten better at not giving in to other people, but you still can’t help yourself. You’re carving out time and spending money that you don’t have, to do and get things that probably aren’t that helpful to you. You’re tired, cranky, having frequent headaches or stomach aches and you’ve likely been looking for ways to escape mentally (scrolling on social media) or physically (hiding out/isolating).

It’s time to break the cycle, for good. Taking a few days off or going on vacation are nice, but these are also temporary solutions. Take time throughout the day to check in with yourself, breathe, and create space on your plate. A healthy “no” can lead to a helpful “yes”, a yes that is lighter, freer, and less afraid. Say “no” to people pleasing and overindulgence disguised as self-care. Say “yes” to actually taking care of your mind, body and spirit.

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