Over the years I have found it more and more difficult to say ‘no’ in any and all aspects of my life. Whether that be saying no to getting drinks with friends or to babysitting my little sister on a Saturday night, it’s all the same. I couldn’t seem to get myself to just say no. The risk of creating an inconvenience for another was too daunting, yet to inconvenience myself was nothing too serious.
With time, I began to wonder why I was always so tired. I was working extensively to make sure that everything in my life was balanced and harmonious with one another, so I couldn’t understand why I still felt half empty rather than half full. Then it dawned on me: I was not taking the time I needed for myself to keep up. I was living my life with what seemed to be control. Instead, it was my life controlling me.
After I realized this, I was able to catch up on projects I have been putting off for weeks. I stopped worrying about all the things I wasn’t able to do or the time I wasn’t able to give. With time, I stopped feeling guilty when I said no– a truly liberating feeling.
So now what? Just start telling everyone no and you’ll feel better? Well, yes and no. The most important rule is to start being more picky. Your own priorities are just as important as those of the people around you, so if they aren’t aligning, speak up. If you have to study for a test instead of going out, say that. If Saturday is your only day off and you don’t want to spend it with your bestie, it’s okay to set that boundary.
Remember that, at the end of the day, you are only human. You get one life, one body and one mind. It is up to you to decide how you choose to spend your free moments and who you allow to occupy your time. Choose wisely.