Learning to Say No


Have you ever had that overwhelming feeling like you never get a day off? And on your days “off” you’re running errands or going to appointments back to back from the time you wake up until you pass out in the evening? Are you a people-pleaser who loves to help others before yourself? When was the last time you said no?

Stop right now.

Always doing for others without taking time for yourself is killing you. It truly is. Your spirit, energy level, mental health, and everything else that your family and friends love about you are draining. Take time for yourself. Sounds silly and I hear you loud and clear when you say, “I don’t have time!” Neither do I. (See also: working in a hospital during a pandemic, graduate student, mom of two, etc.)

Whenever someone asks me to help out with a project, I say yes.
My son needed to start occupational therapy so I gave up my only day off that I typically use for studying.
My daughter needs her flu shot, I am the one to take her.
The dog needs grooming, I will take him.

Do you sense a pattern? I’m not the type of person who likes to relinquish (which is just a fancy word for lose) control. I need to learn to delegate. I like being the one to help others with favors, not ask for them. I’m learning to change that about myself.

When someone volunteers me for a work project or hosting a (virtual) party, I have been evaluating the time commitment and learning to say no. I like to think I’m pretty good at time management, but I need to learn to not book myself solid every single day. It’s exhausting. It’s draining. It needs to stop.

Do you take time for yourself each week? Each day? I’m not talking about sitting in a coffee shop drive-through to get your caffeine fix with your kids listening to the Cocomelon soundtrack in the background. I’m talking alone time. Doing something you love to do. Undisturbed sleep. Whatever that is, put that in your calendar on your phone and make it happen. Your kids, family, and friends will take notice that your cup is full and you are much more able to give that selfless energy to others once again.

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Kelly Jones
I am a 30-something nurse who is a Hoosier born and raised. I love to take photos (as proven by my iPhone storage always being full) and can bake anything. I love house projects and decorating. My husband Brad might not enjoy it as much but he puts up with my many last-minute, random projects. We have two beautiful children, Camden, 8, and Charlotte, almost 3. We live in Fishers and have a Great Dane named Max. I'm going to school for my Masters in Family Nurse Practitioner. I am not sure what I want to do when I grow up. Being a FRIENDS guru is at the top of the list though.