Feel Empowered to Use the Word "NO"
I can't tell you how many times I have agreed to attend meetings, cocktail parties, etc and then immediately regret the decision knowing that I was over committing myself and would probably end up simply exhausted at the end of the day. I hate to use the word 'NO' for fear that it presents myself as a negative person. As you well know by now, I strive to maintain positive energy in my life and am influenced by the idea that I must be a 'YES!' person. This is often a excellent philosophy, but sometimes the word NO is just plain necessary.
I began a whirlwind journey last week as I prepared to fly to San Francisco for a long weekend immediately following a week of many late nights at the office and a handful of business dinners. I returned late Sunday night only to unpack and repack a suitcase Monday morning for two back-to-back conferences located a few hours away. All events had been on the calendar for at least a month and I had been bracing for this 10 day marathon of planes, trains, and automobiles.
While in San Francisco, I met a very charming and attractive young man who happens to live in Westwood. A couple of drinks and weekend of texting later, he asks me to dinner. Any night of the week will work for him -- I just have to pick one. I look at my calendar, cringe, and realize that I have to simply say NO. Technically, I could have squeezed this date night in at some point on Monday evening between my commute back from the office and repacking a suitcase for another 4 day trip. The mere thought of it made me hold my breath for fear of the dark circles that would begin to build under my eyes. There isn't enough eye cream in the world to solve that kind of puffiness and I was already feeling an eye twitch coming on induced by stress and lack of sleep.
Without knowing what the reaction might be, I had to employ the "Thanks, but I can't..." statement so rarely used by those of us that personify the latest Tweener catch phrase abbreviated as FOMO (fear of missing out). Earlier in the week I had made the personal commitment to say No Thanks to all socializing offers presented for the weekend immediately following my return home knowing that, for the sake of my mental and physical health, I would need some 'Me Time' filled with a mix of personal To Do's and loose ends with work.
Do you ever find yourself afraid to use the word 'NO' because it is often easier to just say 'YES'? We might be saying YES to appease others or avoid a conversation filled with explanations and pressure to change our response. I challenge you to use the word NO more often in your life and see how people respond. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that they respect your decision and you get the satisfaction of doing exactly what is necessary and right for YOU.
As for me, Mr. San Fran has offered to keep his calendar open for the following week which will give me at least a handful of days to sleep off the dark circles and eye twitch. Thank goodness -- because nobody likes feeling anything less than their best when they step out for a date night.
THE CHALLENGE - DAY 23
Do you ever find yourself planning to incorporate a workout into the day and then get sidetracked by the commitments on your calendar? Say NO to that last minute Happy Hour offer or volunteer luncheon and make your physical health a priority. There will always be another time order that martini or sit in on a PTA meeting.
Often times we don't take the time to acknowledge our priorities and we let life carry us away so quickly that we look back with a tinge of regret about not achieving certain personal goals. Take a moment to write down the things that you desire for your life. Goals, priorities, bucket list items...whatever it is that holds importance with you. Then try to make conscious decisions to allow those priorities to be a part of your life. You will most likely have to say NO to a few things. Do it. You won't regret it.
As women, we are literally wired to be nurturing and selfless. The maternal tendencies to take care of others often places our own needs at the bottom of the list...if on the list at all! We must take a moment to realize that we too deserve time and attention. Emotionally connect with this concept to the best of your abilities before employing changes in decision making. It simply goes back to one of my favorite mantras...'Where thoughts go, energy flows."
Tips and Reminders
Studies show that you will sleep better if you remove the electronic devices (including iPads, iPhones, and TV!) from your life at least 30 minutes before bed. Grab a book or magazine to unwind or perhaps use the time for some pillow talk with your partner. Your body and mind will thank you.