Self-Care + Wellbeing

Master the Art of Saying No

I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

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Setting boundaries is hard, but necessary for any kind of success.

This week I had to say no to a friend.

One of my dreams is to start taking clients on self-care retreats to amazing destinations coupled with some lifestyle design, delicious food, adventurous excursions and good company. I share this dream with one of the most empowering, soul-led business-owning women I have the honor to know and this week we had a plan to meet (in-person) to start the process.

Starting last week, I had a nagging feeling in my gut (ah, that’s intuition for those of you that don’t know it originates in your stomach) that I shouldn’t go. The boys were just getting home from Patagonia after a week on Spring Break, my son started the spring golf season (for the first time), I had meetings I would have had to rush to get back to and following my surgery two months ago, I finally turned a healing corner where I felt I could get back in to a routine. It was overwhelming.

For three full days I struggled with listening to and caring for myself versus disappointing Cindy. I’ll be honest here, and this is embarrassing, I thought of many lies I could have told her that would have ‘forgiven’ me; illness that would have let me off the hook. But what kind of self-care coach would I be if I did that? A hypocrytical one for sure, but it also just didn’t feel right. I have enough respect for myself and Cindy to be honest and let her know I was feeling overwhelmed. It wasn’t that the retreat dream isn’t a priority, it’s just lower on the list than my family and my own wellbeing right now.

I texted her the following:

I am feeling really overwhelmed right now. The boys are not getting home until later today from Patagonia, Miles starts golf tomorrow after school, I am short staffed at Crossroads (my manager’s dad is old and ill) and Dale is working late every day this week to catch up from last week. ‍♀️ However, this retreat planning trip is extremely important to me. Help me.

Her response came a few hours later. Had I lied I to her, I would have been checking my phone incessantly to see her response, but instead, I put my phone down, took a deep breath and felt freedom. Of course, because we respect one another, all is right in the world and we are making the meeting work through this beautiful thing called technology.

This is the hard shit.

The stuff that you have to wrestle with for a while, sit with the feelings of someone else (maybe) being disappointed, letting someone else down but in turn making yourself a priority. We have to start respecting ourselves MORE than we respect others.

What if, instead of automatically agreeing to every request that comes our way, we start prioritizing ourselves and our needs? What if saying “no” becomes an act of self-care rather than people-pleasing?

Here’s the thing: saying “no” doesn’t make you selfish or uncaring. It’s about setting boundaries and recognizing your limitations. It’s about honoring your time, energy, and mental health. And guess what? It’s perfectly okay to do so.

So, how do we master the art of saying “no” without feeling guilty or rude?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Know Your Priorities: Before committing to anything, take a moment to consider your priorities. What truly matters to you? What do you need to accomplish? By understanding your priorities, it becomes easier to decline things that don’t align with them.

  2. Practice Self-Awareness: Tune in to your own feelings and needs. If saying “yes” to something feels draining or overwhelming, listen to that inner voice telling you it’s okay to decline. Trust yourself and your instincts.

  3. Set Boundaries: Boundaries are your best friend when it comes to self-care. Learn to say no firmly but kindly when something doesn’t work for you. Remember, you’re not obligated to explain or justify your decision.

  4. Be Honest: Honesty is key in any relationship, including the one you have with yourself. If you’re declining an invitation or a request, be honest about your reasons. Most people will respect your honesty and understanding.

  5. Practice Self-Compassion: Saying “no” may feel uncomfortable at first, especially if you’re used to always saying “yes.” Be gentle with yourself and remember that prioritizing your well-being is not only acceptable but necessary.

  6. Offer Alternatives: If you’re declining an invitation, offer alternatives if possible. This shows that you value the relationship and are willing to find alternative ways to connect or contribute.

Remember, saying “no” is not about shutting people out or being dismissive. It’s about valuing yourself enough to prioritize your own needs. By learning to say “no” for self-care reasons, you’re not only taking care of yourself but also setting a powerful example for others. So go ahead, embrace the art of saying “no” and watch how it transforms your life for the better. You deserve it!

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
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