Self care strategy #9: say no with confidence

It’s official. You don’t have to say yes to every request or favor asked of you. Not every request is urgent or requires your immediate attention. It’s okay to simply say “sorry, that won’t be possible” or “that won’t work for me, maybe next time.” There’s no need to make excuses or elaborate any further. True friends and people who care about you will accept your limits and not push you into doing something you don’t feel comfortable doing. If someone won’t accept your limit and boundary setting, you might have to say no more than once. Don’t feel bad about it. Remember you are practicing self care every time you say no in an assertive and direct manner. We are often strapped for time. We have work to do (whether in the home or outside the home) spouses and/or children who need our attention more than anyone else does, and family and loved ones to support. Remember, every time we say no we are freeing up time to take care of ourselves so we can better care for our loved ones. So tally up how many times you are able to say no to non urgent favors asked of you this week. Then give yourself a big pat on the back. Hooray, assertive, confident you!

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Self care strategy #8: breathe a sigh of relief

Breathing deeply and exhaling slowly is a great way to relax your muscles, release toxins and promote a feeling of well being. Try it now. When we consciously slow down our breathing and let out an intentionally slow breath (really drag it out) the brain chemicals responsible for generating feelings of happiness and well being get released. At the same time, notice which muscles in your body might be tensing up. The most common areas for muscle tension build up from stress include the back, neck and shoulders. As you release your breath be aware of this tension area and relax it. Also pay attention to your jaw. Is your mouth clenched? Open your mouth, somewhat parting your lips, to relax that area as well. This quick technique can be done any time and anywhere.

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