Photo: Gemma Evans on Unsplash
Sometimes, you bite off more than you can chew. You believe you’re capable of handling multiple things at the same time and you want to push yourself harder. Then, you realize it’s all too much or you feel that there’s not enough time in the day. It is perfectly fine to stop for a moment and say you can’t do it and more importantly, it’s okay to say no when asked to do something.
First and foremost, you are not obligated to do anything for anyone. Whether this is a partner, a best friend or even your boss, you do not have to be by their side 24/7, and you do not have to do everything they ask for, especially if you don’t have the time or strength to do so. You don’t owe anyone anything, and you are not owned by anyone.
Your mental health comes first. If you’re exhausted or you’re not feeling well, it’s important to remember that you need to be okay first before you can help someone else. If you agree to do something for someone while you’re not okay, you won’t feel motivated to complete the task, and you may not perform your best work.
Related to your mental health, it’s okay to put yourself and your own tasks first. It’s okay to prioritize yourself. If you have things going on in your life, it’s okay to say no to prioritize those tasks and to work on what’s most important to you. There aren’t enough hours in the day for you to do everything, so it’s fine to say no if you just don’t have the bandwidth.
If you’re not interested in what someone asked you to do, it’s okay to say no! It does not make you selfish and it does not make you a bad person. If you do something you’re not interested in, it will show in your work and it may show in your body language.
If you constantly say yes when you’re feeling tired, unmotivated, or busy, this will take a toll on your mental health. You will start to dread doing things day by day and eventually, you may not have the motivation to do anything. You may start to feel like you don’t have a purpose, and you’re not sure what you want to do with your future.
This goes for making plans with people as well. If someone asked you to hang out and it doesn’t seem like something you’d be interested in, you can say no. If you say yes and end up changing your mind, it’s perfectly fine to let them know as well. If you continue on with the plans, there is a chance you may be miserable and your facial expression and body language may reveal that you do not want to be there.
Only say yes if it is something you want to do. It’s okay to say no and it doesn’t make you a horrible person. It’s okay to put yourself first. So the next time someone asks you to do something and you’re just not up for it, remember, you CAN say no. At the end of the day, your mental health is always the most important.
My name is Linda Tran. I'm 24 years old from Boston and I'm majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Social Media at the Southern New Hampshire University. A fun fact about me is that I learned coding and HTML at the age of 11.