It has taken me a long, long time to learn to say, “No, I can not. I need to rest”. There is no need to apologize. But, I often catch my self saying, “Im sorry”. I am not sorry that I am taking care of me. I am not sorry that I am putting my health 1st. I am not sorry that you will have to wait. I am not sorry that I have learned to be mindful of the signals my body is giving me to sleep, rest, tune out society, or tune in nature, or unplug from the world. This learned habit of saying “Im sorry” needs to stop because I am not sorry. Being mindful of your energy and fatigue level and overall sense of health is a learned skill. It takes practice.
I used to immediately say, “sure, no problem!’ Or, “YES I can do this” or “ Of course I can meet you” Or my old personal favorite, “Absolutely!” Until, my body broke down and my health slipped away. And, it still took me years to learn how to say, “No, I can not”.
Why is this so hard in our society? I know I’m not the only one. Our society values productivity. Productivity means in many people’s mind, constant motion, a full calendar. It’s dangerous for our heath. And, the inability to say no, means that you are putting other people’s needs, desires, wants before yours and with limited energy, this is very dangerous.
It’s a “YES DISEASE” and it can kill you, well, maybe not everybody, but certainly almost killed me. This odd ‘yes disease’ I have found, comes from the subconscious feeling that you need approval, validation or fear of making people mad if you say “No”. But really, safe guarding your health shouldn’t make anybody mad at you, and if it does, it sounds like a whole new set of nice people around is in order!
It’s taken me a long time to learn to guard my health and say no. Saying “Yes’ was a habit. But, guess what? Saying ‘No’ can be a habit too and a healthy one.
Stay healthy my friends.