For those of you that now me, know that I love a good podcast. Since moving to Newcastle and working from home, my podcast session has definitely increased.
I listened to a goodie this morning that was talking about being mindful of our energy. Something I have been very interested in the past few months is becoming more aware of what fills and energises me and what depletes me and leaves me feeling drained of energy. Following that accordingly that way of thinking can be tough. We have responsibilities and so on, but for the most part- most of the things we say yes to, we could actually probably benefit more by saying 'no thank you'.
Looking back and still today I have such a hard time saying no to people, places and things, but especially people. The feeling of letting them down or not meeting their expectation of me or worse off the expectation i put for myself of following through with my word. If i say i am going to do something, i am going to do it. Even when i am only feeling it halfheartedly.
A big one for me was constantly saying yes to work commitments. When i was at Uni i was working part time as a cafe/ sandwich bar. What i soon found was i was working often 6 days of open to closes and cutting out uni classes to do so. I found myself putting my uni commitments and my commitments to my own health to the side. Whenever i was asked to work an extra shift, cover someone else, stay back- it was always "Yeah no worries".
The thing is, when you are constantly making choices like this and putting yourself on the back end, it often gets easier to do so and much more difficult to change that because it now is a habit. I was surprised to hear this commonality among so many people i have spoken to. Putting our work commitments before ourselves and i think we are now at a point that it is so common that for someone to say no, is weird.
Have you ever said yes to 'X' when deep down you knew you really didn't actually want to do it, or see that person or work that extra shift? There is power in saying no and i want to highlight the ways in which if we continue burning ourselves out for the expectations of others, it will only lead to more and more stress, resentment and health problems.
I spoke with a friend recently about their 'fear of missing out'. Even though she feels tired after working a full time job and studying part time, her friends go out over the weekend and through a yawn says "what time we meeting?". Deep down her reality she wanted was to run a bath, cook pasta and have an early night but- "what if i miss out on something?". I too have fell victim to this thinking too. It's a constant circle of always wanting to elsewhere rather than where you actually are.
I remember my family had a BBQ on one Saturday and even though I was really looking forward to it, i was asked if i could stay back til close at work. Without even thinking the words came out "yeah no worries". Why? People pleasing. Even though i worked for an amazing family, there was a part of me that felt that my normal work schedule was only a minimum, that my value only came for going above and beyond.
I have been a yes woman for many years and only recently, this past year especially have i started to find my own voice in saying no thanks. Becoming aware of how much power there is in saying no and how much it really highlights when i say yes to things. It is not out of obligation but out of love and wanting to do X, or see X or spend time at X. Saying yes to every thing under the sun seems like the easier option at the time, saying yes to people seems like an easier option too. What it does is builds resentment within those relationships. "I did this for you".
We must become aware of the way we spend our time, the people who fill our time and how we choose to show up in that time. There have been countless situations where I've said yes to something when i should have stayed my butt at home. I am not in my best self at all, I can only see the negativity in the situation and I am just spreading bad energy. I've made very conscious shifts now with being aware of my choices, why i am making them and who for. Ofcourse there are times when i make decisions for the benefit of someone else, but knowing that and being aware of that is the difference between saying yes blindly out of obligation and yes out of you own choice. The amount of times people do things and then expect something in return is the outcome of saying yes when you should have said no.
As you begin this journey to saying whole hearted no thank you's with love, it can bring guilt or people can put guilt onto you. It can feel selfish. It can feel wrong. Know that whenever there is a change in behaviour to your better self there is always difficulty. People are use to the you they have always known. Just letting them know you are on a journey to better looking after yourself can help you identify who is there for you and your journey.
Sometimes there are times where you just won't be able to scratch some things off your to-do list and that is understandable. As i have gone into this year, i have seen many new mumma bears meet their little ones and i do not in any way expect you to just throw all your motherhood duties to the side. I do encourage you to take the help when offered, for you to have a shower, to have a nap, to have a meal with both hands available while someone cuddles bubs. These little steps make way for so many big things in your mental wellbeing.
When we start understanding that we are all energy and learning how to protect our own energy, big shifts begin. Knowing when you need re-fuel, knowing when being around others may drain or fuel you, knowing when you need a good big pub meal, when you need to add salad to your meal, when you need time alone, when you need to meet up with your deep and meaningful convo friend and when you might need to meet up with your let your hair down friend, knowing when you needs your hubbys energy and when you might need your Mum's energy. The list goes on and it is such a beautiful transforming list when you start to keep note and write up your own.
As we move into this last month of December, lots of socialising- keep your awareness on and keep filling your cup with whatever works well for you. Forget balance of 50/50. It's BS. I invite you to rather find your own balance where you are at peace and not at obligation.
Love hearing your thoughts on these blog topics, so drop me a line or email.