31 Days of Holiday Self-Care, Day 6, Say No to Something You Don’t Want to Do

31 Days of Holiday Self-Care, Day 6, Say No to Something You Don’t Want to Do

It’s Day 6 of our Self-Care Challenge. Are things stacking up a little bit? Are you looking ahead to the future and feeling a bit of dread? Who put you in this mess? Have a talk with them!

Oh wait, was it you? Did someone ask you to do bring a side to the office party and you said you’d bring your signature Christmas fudge that takes six hours standing at the stove to make? Why did you do that?

You did that because it’s easier in the short term to say yes than to say no. Saying no is uncomfortable and feels like it requires an explanation. But here’s a secret. It doesn’t. In fact, offering an explanation when you say gives your petitioner an opportunity to try to overcome your reasons for saying no. You want to say no and cut the conversation short without destroying the relationship.

So here’s what you do. Start with the gratitude. “Oh, thanks for thinking of me!” Throw in the no. “But I can’t help you move this weekend.” End with resources (“You can hire movers cheaply on the corner for $10 an hour.)  or moral support (“I’m sure you can handle the move all by yourself. I believe in you!)  or, my personal favorite, throw someone else under the bus (“I bet Fred can do it.”) I’m throwing in silly examples, but you take my point, a quick one sentence that takes the focus off of you and why you can’t help and puts the focus back on your requester and, hopefully, sends them on their way to ask Fred what he’s doing this weekend.

So, go out there today and say no! Poor Fred — he doesn’t know what’s about to hit him.


This is part of my 31 Days of Holiday Self-Care Challenge. To see all the posts in this series, visit here.



  1. December 7, 2015 / 11:16 am

    I’ve learned that “Thank you but no” is a complete sentence. I don’t want a longer conversation about who else can do it and why. Especially during this crazy time of year courteous simplicity get’s me off the hook.

    • Katy
      December 7, 2015 / 12:42 pm

      That can be helpful too – the goal is to not take on more than you want to do.

  2. December 7, 2015 / 11:28 am

    I love this series!! Lots of great ways to stay present, calm, and grateful throughout the holiday season. I bet blogging these tips also helps keep you accountable. Great idea. I’m curious — how else do you keep yourself accountable during busy times? Thanks for sharing!

    • Katy
      December 7, 2015 / 12:27 pm

      That’s a great question! This series really has helped keep me accountable. I actually took time out for a massage on Saturday since I advised everybody else to do it and it was wonderful. As for the rest of the time – I’m working on that!

  3. December 7, 2015 / 12:38 pm

    Just found this post series. Love it. I will follow along!

    • Katy
      December 7, 2015 / 12:40 pm

      Thanks Anna! Welcome!

  4. December 7, 2015 / 9:21 pm

    This was just a topic of conversation on someone’s Facebook page today. It’s so hard not to say no and to feel like you’ll hurt someone else. What really happens is that you’re only hurting yourself when you don’t place margin in your own life. Thanks for sharing your wise words at the Over the Moon Link Party.

  5. Julie Sansoni
    December 6, 2016 / 10:43 am

    I agree, the more you talk the more it sounds like excuses…simple is good. I have a tough time with this,
    especially when asked in the presence of others but I am learning. I will help if I am able to and I don’t ever want to quit
    being a steward in different ways but boundaries are good. Thank-you for the reminder of this at a time of year when
    we women are pulled in many directions.

    • Katy
      December 6, 2016 / 10:46 am

      Yes it can be so hard to learn to find the right balance. I’m so better at this than I used to be but I still need to get better.

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