It’s Okay To Say ‘No’

The past few months I’ve been practicing saying ‘yes’ to more things in life. From opportunities like attending CitySTRONG and organizing a Meetup group, to friends asking me to go to a concert with them, saying ‘yes’ has lead to a lot more fulfillment in my social life. I could definitely write an entire blog post about this, so let me know in the comments if you’d like to read that! But for today’s post, I am actually going to focus on the idea of saying ‘no’, which can be just as important as saying ‘yes’.

This morning my friends invited me to go to the greenbelt to hike and swim with them. Normally, I would have said “heck yes!” I love going to the greenbelt, and it is finally starting to be nice and sunny here in Austin. However, this morning I chose to say ‘no’. It’s been a really busy, social weekend for me, and I just felt like I needed a day to myself to get some work done (like write this blog post), do my laundry, and relax. I’m someone who loves being around people most of the time, but I also need alone time to recharge and decompress. If I don’t get this time to myself, I tend to get burnt out and feel overwhelmed.

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Photo I took at the greenbelt. Who WOULDN’T want to hike here?

Knowing this about myself, and knowing it is Sunday and therefore my last chance to get a solid amount of free time before the work week starts back up, I told my friends I would have to take a raincheck. This was actually pretty difficult for me, even though it may sound like a tiny decision in the grand scheme of things. Like I said, I’ve been doing a great job of saying ‘yes’ lately, and in some ways this ‘no’ felt like a step in the wrong direction.

However, I realized the policy of saying ‘yes’ should only be taken as far as is healthy for your mind and body. What I mean by that is, if saying ‘yes’ will add more stress, exhaustion or discomfort to your life in any way, you shouldn’t feel obligated to do it. For me, I knew I wanted to take today to be productive but also get some relaxing in, and that I wanted to do this alone since I had been around people all weekend. While going to the greenbelt would not cause me any serious harm in any way, it would make me more tired and prevent me from getting my desired me-time. So I said no. Simple as that!

So here I am writing this blog post at one of my favorite coffee shops, drinking a frappe and eating a brownie, and feeling content as could be. Sure, I still have a bit of FOMO after seeing my friend’s Snapchats at the greenbelt, but I know I made the right decision for me and my needs today.

Blogging and treating myself to some deliciousness at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters

What do you all think of the concept of saying ‘yes’ to more in life, and how to decide to say ‘no’ when you need to? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!

11 thoughts on “It’s Okay To Say ‘No’

  1. I feel you on FOMO, it’s a real thing! I think you’re totally right, in that you have to say no occasionally. We all have to set aside time to recharge. This was a great read and a great reminder that we need to say no sometimes!

    1. Thank you! 🙂 It definitely does, especially since I am someone who likes to please others and make sure they are happy. But it’s important to look out for ourselves too!

  2. This post immediately caught my eye. I remember this exact experience from my twenties, but it took me much longer to realize the beauty of saying no. Now as a mama in my 30’s, I’m struggling to say “no” to more mundane activities like toddler birthday parties. It’s still a work in progress for me, but I think learning when to say yes and when to pass is one of the more crucial life skills out there.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! I can imagine motherhood would present a lot of difficult ‘no’s’. I think it is something we all have to be constantly working on.

    1. A very tricky balance, indeed. It’s hard to know what to do sometimes, but I think it just takes time to find the right balance. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  3. Exactly! I started taking more chances and saying yes to more opportunities, but also said no, when I really wanted to. Like Lisa in the comments already said, you have to find a healthy balance 🙂 And congrats to you for saying yes more 🙂

  4. Congratulations on owning your “no” when you needed it! Knowing yourself and your need to disconnect is so good for your mental and physical health. Way to go!

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