I'd Rather Not: Learning to Say No

Have you ever experienced a severe bout of burnout caused by school, work, or just life in general?   If you don’t know what burnout is, its a physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual type of exhaustion that is usually caused by the overextending of ourselves.   Sometimes as women, we try to be super. We aim to be the best scholars, participate in all of our organizations’ functions, eat right, study hard and be social butterflies all at the same time, which eventually takes a toll on our health.

I tried the whole superwoman thing, and I crashed and burned. I tried to be active in all of the organizations, clubs, and ministries that I was a part of. I was always hanging out with my friends, even if I didn't want to. I was trying to study. Not only did I suffer from my burnout, but so did my grades and my social life. I was always tired from overworking myself and being stressed. I was still sad because I felt like I wasn't making myself proud and living up to the expectations I had set for myself. I felt like a bad friend for not being there for others when I know they needed me. I felt terrible.

As a full-time college student and part-time worker, learning to say no has had the most significant impact on my life. We sometimes forget that the center of the self-love we are so eager to achieve starts with self and that by overextending, we aren’t giving ourselves the time we need to heal, rest and replenish. So, I started saying no to making plans with my friends, taking extra shifts at work, and to pulling all-nighters at home studying, and it changed me for the better. 

By freeing myself of the things I felt obligated to do, I was able to thrive, and I made time for my version of self-care. Saying no allowed me to be peaceful and meditate, pray or reflect on whatever circumstances were burning me out. Saying no allowed me to get in a creative headspace. Saying no allowed me to realign and refocus on what I wanted to do, how I was going to do it, and what I was going to do to get it done.

Saying no has opened my eyes and helped me to realize that I can do anything that I want to do, but I don't have to do everything. Saying no is a crucial part of self-care because you can get more done if you just gave yourself a break. Saying no is pouring more into yourself than into other people and things.

Saying no helps. As Her Campus Kennesaw celebrates Her Health Week, keep in mind the word "no" and how it can save you from suffering from burnout.