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healthy for the holidays: how to say NO

NO is not a dirty word. In fact, it was probably my favorite word until about the age of four. But sometime after that it became uncool to say “no”. But no is actually an extremely empowering word. No is how I plan on keeping my sanity during the holiday season. There are several different situations where saying no is the best thing for you.

How to politely decline an invitation

Sometimes you just don’t have the time/energy to go to an event. And that’s okay. The only thing you owe the host/hostess advance notice. Nothing stinks more than planning a party (especially one with a per-person emphasis like a sit-down dinner) to have people cancel at the last-minute. Keeping that in mind, just make sure to cancel as early as possible. Even better? Schedule some time with the host/hostess to catch up outside of the party.

How to say no to demanding family

The holidays tend to make any family situations infinitely more stressful. And while I understand the pressure to make the picture perfect holidays, it doesn’t work well when trying to balance family relationships and sanity. There are times when you just have to say no to your family. Whether it’s turning down an invitation to dinner or having to tell your parents that you’re not coming to visit for a holiday, it is best to be direct and honest. Explain the situation and why you are unable to attend. They’re family

How to say no at work

Things are definitely getting busier at work as we get closer to the holidays. Add in a busy holiday season and travel and you get a recipe for little sleep, exhaustion, and poor quality of life. Not to mention prime conditions to get sick. I’ve found myself having to push back a little more at work. My favorite strategy? Explaining the limited time you have as an “or” proposition (e.g. “If this project is really a priority, then I will have to postpone this, that and the other to deliver the project on time.”) This sets up a productive conversation with your manager/team members about what is truly critical versus what would be nice to have. More times than not, we end up moving things around. Also, I know it sounds cliché, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s better to ask for help now than deliver poorly executed work done during a time crunch.

What do you find yourself saying “no” to during the holidays? How do you say no while staying polite?


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