Energy | Learning to Say No

It was a Thursday afternoon and I was putting my Out of Office on prepping for a weekend getaway.  While saying goodbye to my team, one colleague turned over and said, “Tas your life is so fun and you are always on the go, don’t you ever get tired?”

I replied with some funny joke and shared that I want to make the most out of life and try to do it all.

This was my 3rd trip in 4 weeks with my toddler, and it was no easy feat. The packing, unpacking, shifting nap schedules, adjusting to time zones, not to mention the very early mornings.  The truth is I wasn’t doing as well as I thought I was.

This past week I returned home from Toronto.  I said yes to too many things and neglected the things that replenish me.  Of course, I had a blast with friends and know Milan enjoyed herself as well, but the constant travel in one month was too much and in hindsight I should have made better decisions for our family.

Our culture is always promoting and rewarding the constant hustle.

See, I have just returned back to work after maternity leave.  I am three months in now, working part time and juggling being a part time stay at home mom (and I went full throttle).  My husband recently went back to entrepreneurship, practically the same month our daughter was born, and managing schedules has been a bit nuts.

After checking in with my mndsight team and sharing my challenges of keeping up with our culture’s constant hustle I realized I was in choice for what I brought into my life and knew I had to make better decisions moving forward.  I took this aha moment and immediately applied it to all areas of my life. I sat down with my calendar and started prioritizing events.

I have a practice of asking myself this one question: "Do I really want to do this?"

If the answer isn’t obvious, I take a few days to ponder on it, and if complex I will usually talk it out with my hubby. When we make a habit to say yes without thinking, it takes some time and active work to recognize that inner voice.

My guideline for choosing things was to ensure it restores and lights me up.  I had to say no to events in order to carve out time to restore. Prioritizing and saying yes to things that light us up, almost guarantees restoration and that burst of energy I so desired.  I consciously chose things that honour myself. After all, the amount of energy I give myself is the amount I can share with others. 

I know when I am not choosing activities that restore my energy the impacts are colossal.  I make poor choices with food, skip my workouts and stay up late working and depriving myself of something that I love: SLEEP.  This makes turning down invites or bowing out of things a lot easier. I stay mentally strong and remind myself why I made the decision. 

I know it’s hard to actually do, we all get wrapped up in things we perceive as important or “must do”, making them seem a lot more important.  To pull myself out of that constant state of urgency, I like to take quiet walks in nature, it’s what fills me up and gives me space to literally BREATH.  The most important thing we can do for ourselves is to know what restores, renews and rejuvenates ourselves.

I am happy to share, that after reflection, and listening to what my body needed, I made a big decision to cancel our family getaway labour day weekend.  We had planned to go to San Fran and through the exercise of writing this blog and asking myself “Do I really want to do this?”, I decided to lay low and take some much-needed down time.

Does this resonate with you? I invite you to take out a pen and paper and write down all the things that restore you back to your most authentic self. What changes do you need to make to honour that?

-Tas Goel, mindful mom

Chrissy Abram