Ease The Stress In Your Life – Learn To Say ‘No’
If you’re anything like me, your personal schedule is probably already overloaded.
What with all the work at home for the family and your day job, it can be hard to achieve any kind of balance that leaves you time to relax. Your stress levels just keep going up . . .
And yet, you still take on more. Especially when it comes to helping others.
Maybe it’s time to consider whether over the years you have become a serial ‘giver’ to the point that it’s become detrimental to your health. It’s not always easy to recognize the signs and symptoms of this insidious disease.
Here are a few tell-tale signs;-
- Are you the very first person your parents and siblings call whenever they need help?
- Is it you that your friends turn to in times of need, even if it’s only for you to lend an ear to their problems?
- When there’s a crisis at work, does it seem like you’re the one people ask to sort it out?
If you answered ‘yes’ to more than one of these questions, it may be time to start saying ‘no’ a little more often to those who make continual demands of you, thereby adding more stress to your life. You don’t need to say no in a hurtful way, just a friendly but firm, ‘I’m sorry, on this occasion I can’t help you’ sort of way. Obviously, you would never turn down a request from a friend in a real emergency, we’re talking here about those who you know, deep-down, are just taking advantage of you and stealing your precious time whilst piling on the stress.
Can’t say no
Most givers have a very hard time saying no to anyone, but often these people will drive themselves to exhaustion trying please everyone. Its one thing to be generous and giving, but if it’s causing you too much stress because you can never find time to relax and unwind, then it can be detrimental to your physical and mental health.
You probably find it very difficult to say no, unless you have a really good excuse that eases your conscience. But what about those occasions when you’re simply too tired or unwell, – or simply want to do something for yourself? What happens when you would much rather relax in a hot bath instead of helping your best friend move house?
Do you speak up? Probably not, especially if you’re a giver who has been taken advantage of on a regular basis to the point it has become a regular part of your life. And you certainly can’t rely on your friends, family members, and co-workers to recognize when your plate’s already too full to take on any more. Unfortunately, that is your responsibility, and the sooner you realize that, the better. Stress can seriously damage your health.
What is not obvious to most people, is that being the care-provider of the family means you have to take care of yourself first. Then you’ll be in the best position to meet other people’s needs, to a certain degree. It’s just unfortunate that some people will take advantage of you knowingly, often because they’re too lazy to do things for themselves and experience has taught them that you will do it anyway when asked.
Put yourself first
If you are a ‘people person’ and value your relationships with friends and family, you need to learn how to make yourself the number 1 priority, and ask everyone else wait in line for your attention. You can only give to others so much, before you have nothing left to give. And that means you will have no reserve energy left to look after yourself during times of stress or illness.
The truth is, you’re not doing anyone any favors by coming to their rescue all of the time, regardless of your own health and well-being. One reason many people suffer from this stress-inducing phenomenon is because they stay easily accessible, and we have modern technology to thank for that. Smartphones, tablets, texts, emails and social media all demand more of our time and mean that we must always be available.
So when you’re trying to have some quiet time for yourself to relax and recharge your batteries, shut your computer down, switch off the smartphone, and be unavailable for just as long as you need to be. If you’re shopping or enjoying a meal out at your favourite restaurant, you don’t want to be interrupted by someone else’s stressful problems, – not when you’re trying hard to get rid of your own!
Don’t burn out
It can be hard to say no. It makes us feel uncomfortable, unsympathetic and uncaring, when in reality, you are probably none of those things. The trick is learning to recognize when it’s appropriate to offer help and support others, as opposed to when you are just being taken advantage of. If you look carefully, you will probably find there are far more cases of the latter than genuine cries for help.
Here’s a final thought for you to consider. If you don’t ease up a bit and say ‘no’ when it is appropriate, you may push yourself too far and become seriously unwell when stress finally takes its toll on you. And if that happens, you won’t be in a position able to help anyone with anything, let alone those who are genuinely in need of your support.
Don’t forget that aromatherapy offers effective stress management, so be sure to use it regularly as part of your support system when you feel under extra pressure.
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2015. Written by Sue Charles