Saying No has always been a challenge for me but I really started to explore it more and see it as a form of self care when I was introduced to the book "The Mother’s Guide to Self Renewal" by Renee Trudeau. It was obvious back then and still is today that it’s not easy for me to say No, especially when I fear that doing so may hurt feelings or upset someone. I was raised in a household where you didn’t say No often and you definitely never said NO if you thought it might upset or hurt someone’s feelings. You basically did whatever you could for others and in turn that meant a lot of times you put yourself last.
Over the past few years I’ve been practicing self care more and more and have learned that one of the benefits to saying No is that it can also mean saying Yes to me and my needs. I’ve learned gracious ways to say No and or offer alternative ways of support from Renee’s book and found the strength and courage to actually say No more often when it wasn't in my best interest to say Yes.
But recently I had to tell one of my dearest friends in the world that I wouldn’t be able to make it in town for her son’s big charity 5K run that she’s been planning all year and boy was that tough. I really hoped that I could be there to support her and the cause but things just got crazy in the last few weeks with my husbands job commitments and the realization of the amount of solo traveling this pregnant mama would have to endure. So what did I do, I stalled for days on telling her, waiting to find the right time – which never came by the way and then finally as the days drew nearer I knew I had to tell her. It wasn’t easy telling her I wouldn’t be there but she handled it as only a great friend would, she said she totally understood and reassured me it was alright. It wasn’t easy telling her No but at the same time it was what I needed to do to take care of me right now and I hope she would do the same thing for herself if the roles were reversed.
So as you embrace this holiday season, think about what you need to do to take care of yourself and see if saying No even once might help!
And if you are curious and want to learn more about Renee's book, visit her website at www.reneetrudeau.com