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Article: No-Commitment Days: Embracing the Power of Saying No Without Guilt

No commitment days and why it’s okay to say no. - The Studio

No-Commitment Days: Embracing the Power of Saying No Without Guilt

Guilt. The most pressing adjective to grace this page. We have all felt a sense
of guilt at some point in our lives and let’s be honest, it’s a really horrible
feeling. Which is why most of us tend to steer in the direction of people
pleasing and avoid having that feeling at all costs. Guilt can be difficult to
overcome, but I’m here to take you on a selfishly guilt-free journey to living a more mindful life.

We talk the talk when it comes to making time for ourselves and doing the
things we enjoy, but another approach to a self-care ritual is the no-
commitment day. A no-commitment day sounds pretty attractive when you
have a busy schedule. As much as we enjoy being around people, it’s safe to
say we have all had those weekends where we have had little to no plans and
secretly looked forward to it. So, what is it? It’s quite literally a day to yourself
with no plans. You block out one day of the week or weekend and don’t say
yes to any set thing. Instead, you might go for a walk, have a coffee, take a
bath, read a book, or just make a last-minute plan as and when you feel like
doing something. A no-commitment day is the perfect opportunity to re-
charge and prioritise your needs. Which let’s face it, feels pretty damn
powerful and is absolutely food for the soul.

When I was first introduced to the concept of a “no-commitment day” I
immediately thought okay, that’s something I could jump on board with.
Without realising, the act of saying ‘no’ wasn’t the hard part, it was the guilt
that came with it which was hard to overcome. Before we get into this, let me
tell you that I am one of those people who likes to people please. I’m kind and I
like to make people feel valued and heard. So the mere thought of upsetting or
annoying somebody makes me feel very uneasy. My partner tells me a lot that
the reason I keep getting so run down is because I put everyone before myself,
which has now been a springboard for learning to say no and have no-
commitment days. Saying no is often seen as rude or ungrateful, and you are
absolutely right, in some circumstances it is. But when you don’t want to go
somewhere, why should you feel bad for saying no? You are a human being
and you should never feel bad for putting yourself first. You cannot be the best
version of you if your cup is not full. Setting boundaries is paramount and once
you set those parameters you will feel a complete sense of freedom like you haven’t felt before. Obviously, this is not suggesting you say no to every single plan ever made. If you want to go, go! The point of the no-commitment day is to say no to things that don’t make you happy or are going to impact your
mental health if you don’t take a rest day. Saying no allows you to put yourself
first, and when you put yourself first, your life flows with way more ease.

But how to we get rid of that gut wrenching feeling of guilt when we say no,
and we feel like people are talking behind our backs? You may put a plaster
over it and say you don’t care, but the reality is, deep down most of us do.
Guilt can cause emotional and sometimes physical pain, but without trawling
through these emotions how do we experience human growth? Regularly
journaling and participating in mindful meditation can play a huge part in
reducing that uncomfortable feeling. Also, consistently remind yourself that
doing what is best for you at that exact moment is absolutely necessary when
you are either managing a challenge or feeling overwhelmed with day-to-day
life. Don’t forget, what might be overwhelming for some, may not seem
overwhelming for others, so don’t feel the pressure if somebody else doesn’t feel the same weight on their shoulders as you. Thank them for their love and
support and stick to your boundaries. I found that talking to friends who also
have set boundaries really helped my feeling of guilt (you don’t feel quite so
alone). But if I can leave you with one thing, it’s you do you. Always remember
your mental and physical health are your priority. Don’t feel bad, say no, and
watch how your life unfolds.



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