The Best School Year Ever: Saying No

With the new school year about to begin, you are going to be faced with a lot of new opportunities. There will be new sports to join, new hobbies to try out, and new volunteer opportunities. It is so tempting to jump into everything and take on every possible fun activity that you can. If we say yes too much, it can leave us with a schedule that feels less fulfilled and more frantic. Schedules that are too full can leave us feeling overwhelmed, depleted, and even frustrated.

Saying no can make this school year the best by giving you more free time to enjoy together as a family.

If you are in a habit of saying yes too much when you should say no, here are some ideas to turn it around just in time for the new school year.

  1. Think it over before you agree.
    Sometimes all of us, myself included, get into a bad habit of agreeing to something without thinking it over. This can leave us feeling time-crunched and guilty. Don’t feel forced to make quick, snap decisions about a possible new time obligation. Say thank you for thinking of us and give them a time frame that you will let them know your answer by. That will give you time to look at your schedule and see if the new activity will bring you more fulfillment or just more stress.

  2. Question yourself.
    To help yourself decide whether or not you want to add something to your schedule, ask yourself two simple questions. Am I able to? Do I want to? Give yourself time to really think through these questions before feeling obligated to add anything to your schedule. Watch your stress melt away by saying no to things that you aren’t able to do or don’t really feel passionate about doing.

  3. Just say no.
    Sometimes keeping it simple is the easiest answer. Don’t be afraid to say “Thanks for thinking of me, but we aren’t able to do that.” It is ok to say no to protect your family’s valuable time together. Saying no means that you know your limits and respect them enough to not put yourself in a tough position.

Give yourself permission to say “no” and make this school year the most enjoyable one yet!

Written By: Laura Lebovitz, LMFT