“I know you have a day off, but can you cover this shift for me?”
“Can you help us sew all of the costumes for the school play?”
“Why don’t you come out to my party? Everyone will be there!”
Sometimes in life we feel ourselves overwhelmed by demands on us from all sides. Our bosses and coworkers expect a lot at work, our friends expect us always to go out and have fun, and our families need us to support them. Eager to please and to avoid disappointing anyone we care about, we push ourselves to the limit to say “yes” to every request. However, being a superhero and meeting everyone else’s needs is an exhausting task that can only be kept up for so long. Soon you feel yourself missing sleep, getting overwhelmed, and not remembering the last time that you took care of your own needs.
It’s Not Selfish to Take Care of Yourself
Of course you want to help others, and you might even feel guilty if you say no to requests to give yourself some time off. However, if you cannot help yourself and keep yourself healthy and energized, you will not be able to take care of others at all. Overwork and lack of sleep weakens your immune system, and makes you more likely to get sick. You can’t attend your child’s school play, do overtime at work, or help a friend move if you have the flu! When you run yourself into the ground and then have to spend several days in bed recovering, you are simply no help to anyone!
If this sounds all too familiar to you, it’s time to practice saying “No” to some of the requests upon you in your life so that you still have enough time to meet your own needs. Politely decline and let people know that you would love to help but you just have too much on your plate at the moment. Take some time off each week to enjoy a hobby, get some exercise, sleep late, and pamper yourself a little. You will find yourself much less stressed and once you have recharged your batteries you will be full of energy and ready to do more good in the world.