We all feel overextended from time to time, but so often we are hesitant to say no to any requests that come our way. So, how can you say no to certain requests and activities without feeling guilty and/or hurting other people's feelings?

Things You Will Need

You will need to be willing to say no at certain times.

Step 1

Most people understand what it means to feel overextended, because almost everyone has felt that way at one point or another. The next time someone asks you to take part in something, and you just don't have the time or the inclination to participate in that particular activity, take the direct and honest (but also warm and grateful) approach when giving your answer. Say something along the lines of: Thank you so much for inviting me to participate in that particular activity. Unfortunately, I am so busy these days that my head is spinning, so unfortunately I am going to have to say no. But it was so kind of you to think of me. Thanks again.

Step 2

If you are excessively stressed out from your current level of activities, consider taking one activity off of your plate. For instance, you may want to cut back on your volunteer work. The great thing about volunteering is that you can always return to it at a later date should your schedule permit. Saying no from time to time really is a key part of taking good care of yourself.

Step 3

If your kids seem just as overextended and overscheduled as all the adults in your household, sit down with them to see if there are any activities that they might be willing to part with, not necessarily forever, but at least for now. When you teach your children to say no now and then you are teaching them a important lesson about taking care of themselves that will (hopefully) last them a lifetime.

If you don't take care of you, who else is going to do it? The ability to just say no to activities and invitations is an important part of any strong self care regimen. In fact, it is just as important as exercising, eating right and getting enough sleep. Don't neglect yourself. Practice saying no more often. 

Tips & Warnings

Life is short and it should therefore be spent doing things you genuinely care about and enjoy. You won't be able to say no to everything, but do so when you can in order to reduce your stress.