It has taken me years to say “No.” I am a people pleaser and I all too often say “yes” to other people's wants while failing to prioritize my needs, resulting in high anxiety, exhaustion, a short fuse and poor mental health.
Over time I have learned, you can’t give yourself to everything and expect high results in every task. Something is going to give. I failed to set boundaries and I suffered because of it.
“Boundary setting helps you prioritize your needs over other people’s wants.” - Lauren Kenso
Quarantine life was two and half months of forced boundaries. The universe decided and I was along for the ride. I realized how wonderful life can be when you are not working every moment of every day.
Now, nearly the end of June and back to working full time I have to keep my mental health at the front of my mind. I ask myself before I commit to anything, “Will this negativity affect my mental health?”
If yes, I let it go.
I protect my time because it seems to just slip away when I go through the motions. I spend more time doing the things I love like gardening or cooking. I have more time to move my body, go for a bike ride or practice yoga. I set a daily schedule and stick to it.
Boundaries are essential for everyone at every age and it is not an easy strength to develop. Some conversations require a firm tone and sticking to the words you spoke. Do not minimize yourself or let self doubt take over. “No” is a full sentence and if something is not serving you, let it go.
Daily mental health check-in:
What gives me energy?
What am I grateful for?
What is not supportive to my mental health and why?
As we move forward from quarantine, civil unrest and find safe ways to assimilate to a new virus, our mental health is imperative. There are hundreds of amazing therapists in our city, utilize them!!! No shame in seeking help.