This is a topic I feel conflicted about even as I write this post. I would consider myself a social person: I thrive on get-togethers, our small group meet-ups. I own a wedding coordination business, a gym, and direct sales business, all of which rely on connections and networking. Connecting with others generally fills me up, but I’ve noticed this holiday season things are a little different.
This Thanksgiving, we opted to miss one of our three family Thanksgivings. Instead, we had Thanksgiving, our son napped, and we headed to the movies. We had a wonderful time! I’ll admit that it felt odd to skip a family Thanksgiving. But, all in all, it kept us stress-free, we didn’t have to make a four-hour round trip, and we were able to have quality family time.
A wise woman once told me that for everything you are saying yes to, you are saying no to something else. This really didn’t resonate with me until I became a mama. Before I had Jack (and became pregnant with this baby boy I’m carrying), I would say yes to anything and everything. My social calendar was booked solid. If I didn’t have a concrete, on-my-schedule reason to say no, I would make every effort to attend the happy hour, say yes to the extra project, or go the family gathering.
Every yes you dole out is actually a no to something else
- Saying yes to losing pounds means saying no to indulgent desserts.
- Saying yes to a big family vacation might be saying no to splurging at Target.
- Saying yes to a social commitment on a weeknight is saying no to a relaxing evening at home.
- Saying yes to a extra project you’re taking part in is saying no to extra family time.
As our family grows and time becomes more precious, I am acutely aware of my need to say no. Sure, there are plenty of social engagements that we still enjoy! But, this holiday season my husband and I have decided we would like to have a stress-free schedule. Christmas is right around the corner. January is typically the busiest month for our gym. And, our second baby is due to arrive in February. There is just too much going on to say yes to every single thing.
The anxiety and stress that can come from holiday commitments can be overwhelming
I’ve already seen multiple posts on Facebook about how people can relieve stress and anxiety during the holiday season. As a culture, we are overworked and over-committed. If there is one thing I have learned since becoming a mama, it’s that we need to feel free to say no and truly do what’s best for us and our family. That might mean staying home instead of going out to dinner with friends so that we can go to bed early and get 8 hours of sleep. It might mean saying no to a picnic on a Sunday afternoon to take a nap with your husband or relax and watch a movie in the middle of the day.
A few things I have been thinking about when considering saying yes
- Does the request align with my priorities, my schedule, and is it going to be fruitful for me and/or my family? If the answer is yes, count me all in.
- Does the request stress me out or make me feel over-committed? If the answer is yes, then I don’t have the time or energy to take part.
This holiday season, I encourage you to carefully consider what it is that you are saying yes to because that decision will ultimately mean you are saying no to something else.