- Self-care isn’t always bubble baths and massages—it’s also learning to say “no.”
- To improve your quality of life, it’s important to know when to stop activities that do not allow you to fully operate in your gifts.
- Self-care has to be about clearly defining what is most important in life and prioritizing.
- When we let go of those things we think define us, we are able to focus on our actual core values to present to the world a happier, more whole individual.
Sometimes, self-care is learning how to say no to things that simply do not serve in your best interest. A 2019 study revealed that busyness is a way to “bolster people’s sense of importance.” This is certainly a case of atelophobia or fear of never being good enough.
The news flash for today is that you are already important; you are already enough. Affirming yourself and abstaining from situations, people, and events that do not edify you are absolutely forms of self-care. Knowing when to pump the breaks on activities that seem impressive, but do not allow you to fully operate in your gifts, is essential to improving your quality of life.Affirming yourself and abstaining from situations, people, and events that do not edify you are absolutely forms of self-care. Click To Tweet
Making Your Own Path Toward Self-Care
When I was a new teacher, I thought it was my job to be the first person at school each day and the last person to exit the parking lot in the evenings. I joined every committee, served in every capacity I could, and extended my hand to as many as I could to demonstrate my willingness to be a master teacher. As a mature, somewhat seasoned administrator, I can assure you that that mindset is unnecessary, unsustainable, and downright unhealthy.
Balance has been the key to my happiness as an educator. I have learned that when I am at work, I must give 110%, but when the day concludes, I must find ways to cultivate my own self-interests, celebrate life with family and friends, and simply rest. My productivity doesn’t come from my ability to work around the clock, it comes from my ability to discern, delegate, and demonstrate discipline while at work.
I discern and delegate what’s important for me to undertake while at work—what can only I do that sets me apart and makes me unique? Finally, I discipline myself—how much time do I need to complete important tasks and what do I need to omit to ensure that the task is completed with accuracy? When I adopted this three-phase method, I became happier at work and definitely more productive.
Self-care has to be about clearly defining what is most important in life and prioritizing. It allows you to achieve a semblance of balance and equilibrium. Saying “no” helps us to do this because it serves as the impetus to prioritization. When we let go of those things we think define us, we are able to focus on our actual core values to present to the world a happier, more whole individual.[scroll down to keep reading]
Keeping the Self-Care Momentum
What are you doing that you should begin to say “no” to at work? Maybe it’s that extra committee that no one else has signed up to serve on but you feel you just have to. Maybe it’s the after-school club with no advisor or the new initiative this summer that requires some assistance. Whatever that thing is, run it through the formula provided above—discern, delegate, and demonstrate discipline.
Find a way to discern and then delegate or (if you aren’t in a position to do so) strongly recommend someone who is better suited for the task. Next, if you do decide to take on the role or task, demonstrate discipline and self-care. Remember to work as hard as you can while at work to succeed in all of your goals and then to leave the task at work when the day ends. This is how you slowly learn to say “no” to busyness and “yes” to yourself.
Practice walking away at the end of the day so you’ll have something to offer your family, friends, and self. Engage in your own self-interests and cultivate new ideas, skills, and talents that will enlighten and energize you for your workplace each day. Learn to say “no” to those things that simply aren’t for you to do. Remember that busyness does not make you important. It is a claim that is fallacious at best and trivial at worst.
“Knowing your value protects you from having to prove it.”
– BJ Thompson
What will you say “no” to today so that you can “yes” to yourself?
About Latrese Younger
Latrese D Younger is an instructional lead learner in Virginia. Her passion is English language arts and she believes that she will always be a teacher at heart. Latrese has a servant mindset, spirit, and attitude that she believes helps keep her grounded. She resides with her son, husband, and English bulldog. In her spare time, she loves writing, reading, and social media curating.