I’ve Learned to Say ‘No’ During the Holidays


Growing up, the holidays were always a special time for me. There were lots of loved ones, holiday food and decorations to enjoy. However, I began to notice adults showing signs of stress due to the extra load of “stuff” to do that time of year.

As I got older, I started to feel that stress, as more and more commitments were put in front of me. It’s a nice problem to have, if I think about it: being invited to parties, having loved ones in your life to buy gifts for, having the resources to bake and share lots of desserts!

I can’t help but feel the obligation of wanting to participate in all these things this time of year. Yet, I also have to admit to myself that being stressed isn’t the reason I celebrate the holidays. I want to focus on the feeling of thankfulness, love and giving. Being stressed helps me with zero of those things.

So, to help with my depression and anxiety, I’ve started to say, “No.”

I can’t do everything, I can’t be everywhere and no one expects me to. Sometimes, I say no to last minute invites, to multiple events in one night, sometimes even to multiple events in one weekend during December. I don’t over commit myself on the number of gifts I’m giving or items I’m baking.

It is OK if I spend a quiet evening at home with my Christmas tree lights in the background. This allows me to recharge, and gives me the health and energy to give to others. I feel I can enjoy the holidays for the reasons I want to. I enjoy the fellowship of loved ones, the warmth of decorations and indulging in the delicious holiday treats more than I used to.

I don’t over do it, even though it’s tempting during the holiday season. We all need rest, and I am no exception. Now, I try to know my limits, listen to my body and rest when I need to. That way I can better absorb and enjoy the season!

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