Although I started this month with all the best intentions, I’ve found myself stuck in a real rut this week. Some of my friends have expressed that they similarly felt sluggish, unmotivated and just in a bit of a general funk, so in true millennial style I’m putting it down to ‘the stars’. *makes mental note to research the current astrology positions after this post*
I wrote in my newest Sundaze post that I’ve felt a little here, there and everywhere and ultimately I’ve decided that I need some headspace and a little breathing room to gain some clarity. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends (and more) with no room for the things I want to do: take Milo out for longer adventures, read the books on my bedside table, write a little, plan ahead with blog posts, map out some ideas I’ve had for my business… My brain feels very busy at the moment and no number of Headspace podcasts have brought me any peace of mind.
So, this week I’m saying no. No to anything that I feasibly can. It feels indulgent and ardently selfish, but the further I get into my twenties, the more I realise that it is completely okay to be selfish. Because you only get one chance at this life thing and it’s your earthly duty to make it count, make it yours. I’m going to finish work and read my book, cook, run, nap, tidy and walk Milo. I’m going to devote hours to working on a Grow & Glow bundle. I’m going to spend lots of quality time with my godmother who’s visiting from Hong Kong! And I’m going to try and peel back some of the layers that are stifling my creativity at the moment.
The Benefits of Saying No
Reclaim your time
Time is incredibly precious, and that is a fact you’ll only grow more and more familiar with as time itself passes. How many times have you sat through yet another meeting that’s completely wasted your time because it could’ve been an email? Or felt that you’re really not enjoying drinks and you’d rather be at home with a cup of tea? Because, same.
By saying no, you can reclaim your time and start to think about out how you’d prefer to spend it. Time is surely the currency of adults. And it isn’t a black-and-white situation where you cancel drinks and never again see that group of friends. It’s about mindfully working out what is good for your soul and what fits your week or month. It’s a given that things pop up unexpectedly in the diary: your auntie comes to visit, the boiler breaks, you have to stay late at work to get a project over the line. Every diary has wiggle room.
Take back control
I often look in my bullet journal and wonder how on earth I let my diary get so out of control. I guess I do a really good job of making it look as though I have my shit together, but I often don’t. I’m just getting better at taking back control. Whether that’s extending client deadlines (with prior permission!) or managing people’s expectations of when they can expect me (I find I’m often back-to-back with plans, and with no time to get ready in between), learning to say ‘no’ is great for taking back control.
Edit that diary ruthlessly and say ‘no’ more, it’s the fastest way to take back control of your time and energy.
Lastly, my gosh is it empowering to say ‘no’! Of course, say ‘no’ within reason. But the point I’m trying to make here is that it’s incredibly empowering to say ‘no’ when you feel peer pressure to agree to run errands for somebody when you have no time, to go for after-work drinks when you’re absolutely exhausted, to go for your weekly Pilates class when the money needs to be funnelled elsewhere, or even to stop hovering over the ‘Follow’ button for a cursory ‘follow back’.
In the nicest possible way, this week I’m saying ‘no’ in a mindful way to get myself back on track and allow myself to be in the best possible position to make clear and meaningful decisions with purpose and clarity. Let’s go and do this, Daisies!
Do you struggle with saying ‘no’? Why do you think that might be?