I guess if I had not overextended myself to the point of only being able to get 4 hours of sleep per night I would have had a better chance at fighting against my mental illness. If I had not said yes so many times in order to be accepted by a bunch of people who would have replaced me in five minutes had I said no, I would have been in a much better position on conquer my presenting symptoms.
You see, I had let my natural need for belonging, over intensify and become out of hand to the point where I could not elude my willingness to say yes to things I should have said no to. Those thing included bad relationships, extra jobs, extra workout groups, extra clients, and extra event engagements. It literally took me becoming completely burnt out to recognize that I needed to learn the art of no.
For the last couple of weeks, I have been sharing things with you all that I use to protect my mental. In week 1, I shared with you all how journaling acts as a release for me and how I use it to get out what I feel, think and desire. Last week, I shared with you all how exercise has changed the dynamics of my life, and this week I want to share with you all how saying no, has given me the best chance at being able to answer the question, are you okay today, with a Yes!
While I was busy overextending myself, I was steady becoming more and more mentally ill. I was not getting the rest I needed. My body was not getting the opportunity to reboot and I was not able to focus. I was going through the motions of a busy life without understanding the implications of what I was doing to my mental. While I was out doing and being everything for everyone, I was neglecting myself. I was not practicing proper self-care and I was not acknowledging the imbalance that I felt within myself.
I would become unnecessarily frustrated and I would end up crashing, spending days at a time, in bed every chance I got, because my depression was real and my lack of rest was even more real. I was miserable, and then it really hit me. I can’t be effective in helping others protect their mental, when I was not protecting mine. I can’t help others move from just surviving to thriving when I was just surviving myself.
SO there I was, ready to learn the art of saying no. I learned how to say no when I was tired. I learned how to say no, when my schedule was already booked. I learned how to prioritize what was important. I learned that it was okay to not be super woman. I learned that if I didn’t get my list of 100 things that I needed to do, done all in one day, that, that was okay. I learned that my mental health and well being was dependent on my ability to say no, and so I did.
It is my heart’s desire that you would learn the art of no. We spend our lives doing so many things for so many people who wont even take the time to acknowledge that we are struggling mentally. We have to surround ourselves with people who understand that our no is not to be mean or unsupportive, but to help us be the best versions of ourselves that we can be for everything that we commit to. As we intentionally say no to things that can wait, or things that we simply don’t have time for or that it would not be healthy for us to do, we allow ourselves time to rest and practice self-care for the things that we do need to and will commit to .
We can’t be every where are one time, but we can be the best and give our best at the places that we can be. While the struggle is definitely sometimes real, the goal is to over come every mental encounter. My prayer for you this week, is that you would learn to say no when it’s necessary in order to protect your mental.