Jenna Z Hermans Chaos to Calm Blog When to Say Yes How to Say No

How to Say No and When to Say Yes

Decrease stress and increase calm, even when a million people want things from you all the time.

“Hey, can you help me out by picking Joshua up twice a week from school?”

“You’re so good with kids, can you volunteer in the church youth group on Sundays?”

“Can you help me with this problem at work?”

“Your dad wants a big party for his birthday, can you help plan it?”

“I know you’re busy but this big important project needs your input, can you take it over?”

Demands, favors, to-dos, events and activities never end. And that’s a good thing, right, because if it ended, it would mean we were done with life.

But when you made your kids’ lunches and never one for yourself, when you’ve gone to your friend’s house who just had surgery to help her clean while your own house sits a wreck, favors and decisions sometimes start to feel like obligations – have to’s versus want to’s

You hear advice all over the place. “Just say yes for a year!” “Learn how to say no!” 🤯  Here’s the real answer —  “Answer mindfully.” And, here’s how.

Even though we have the best intentions to say yes, we give away our most precious commodities – time and energy – too easily. 

How to decrease stress by making mindful decisions 

Often we jump to an answer without thinking, “Sure, of course!” and get in over our heads. 

Of course we want to and should give to those we love and our community. But to own our calm, we need to take a minute to assess what we’re being asked to do. 

Saying no is a decision, but saying yes is a responsibility. There are longer term commitments like being on the PTA or Board of Directors for a company, and shorter one-offs like picking someone up from the airport or dropping off school paperwork for a friend. Don’t say yes if it is going to cause you stress. Get the details, and weigh it out with a chaos versus calm filter. What decision best serves your calm? Will committing to a twice a week meeting eat into your time for hiking, quality time with the kids or something else you don’t want to miss?

Don’t add a responsibility to your life that feels overwhelming without feeling the effort is worth it. You’re setting yourself up for more stress, resentment toward the asker, and it’s likely you won’t perform that task well. 

Pause before you make your choices. Own your calm. 

For more tips on how to own your calm, sign up for the Chaos to Calm newsletter! 

Reach out, I’m here for you.

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