health

The all-too-common problem with being a ‘yes’ person.

By LISA ALMOND

I am a ‘yes’ woman.

That is really hard for me to admit, but I am.

I always say yes to everything and I hate asking for help.

I’m stubborn, super stubborn. Actually I’m mega-hugely-massively stubborn.

The problem with being a ‘yes’ person is it makes you a stressed person.

I say yes, I want to help everyone, I want to work on lots of projects and I take on numerous jobs at once. I always have.

I have a bit of a routine that happens. I say yes to everything then after saying yes to a hundred different projects and activities I suddenly stop in my tracks and go, “holy crap how I am going to get all that done?”

Then I stress and stress and stress and then complete everything last minute.

The best evidence of me being a yes woman was when I was 22.

At the time I was at uni, working and interning in the city. Sounds pretty standard for a 22 year old, except at 22 I was also a primary carer for my one-year-old son and six months pregnant with my second. I dragged him and my big belly around the country to get everything done that I had said yes to.

Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by Tourism Fiji. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

That was probably the pinnacle of being stressed in my life.

Recently when I saw a quote by Ray Bradbury, I sighed. I knew EXACTLY what he meant.

“Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.”
– Ray Bradbury

When I was 22 I was well and truly strangling life. In fact, at that point, life was probably gasping for its last breath.

Over time I’m slowly learning how to de-stress but even that is taking time.

You see, I didn’t get any better at saying ‘no’. I continued to take on more and more and throughout my entire adult life I have juggled parenthood, study and work. I’ve never not had more than two of the three on. And for the most part I’ve constantly juggled all three at once.

It’s hard, and it’s stressful and like Mr Bradbury said, I need to learn to relax and just let life happen instead of making life happen.

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One thing I’ve found is by de-stressing I’m so much happier. Even my kids notice.

It hasn’t been easy but there’s been a few, very important, ways I’ve learnt to de-stress and in turn be happier and more content with my life and myself.

The first is utilising people. I am what you call a people person. I love a good chat. Going out for coffee with my friends is an instant de-stresser for me. Likewise spending time with my family makes me smile. I love people. I love talking and I love just learning about life through their eyes. Talking to people makes me happy.

Another key way to de-stress for me is by having a change of scenery. And while I do love travelling I quite literally mean just getting out of the house. I used to joke that going to the letter box was an outing for me. How sad. Cabin fever is real and it can drive you mad.

I also love learning. I love knew experiences. I’m the one who is making people go on day trips when they go away or making our group of friends go on group fun runs to experience something new.

Fortunately my kids also love learning about the world and cultures and different people. So when I talk to them, show them new places and give them new experiences I tick off everything that I find makes me happiest and de-stresses me.

It wasn’t until recently that I had the strength to start saying no to things that stress me out and start saying yes to things that are going to make me relax and de-stress instead.

I don’t want to strangle life anymore, I don’t want to be struggling for breath when I could be calmly drawing in life, relaxing and enjoying everything that comes my way.

I want to touch life, embrace it and enjoy it.

And for me that means learning to say no to the things I don’t have time for and prioritising my happiness and fully understanding what helps me de-stress.

I have to let life happen. It will move forward on its own, I don’t always need to push it.

What do you do to relax?

Because we’re all a little bit nosy sometimes, here are some of the ways that the Mamamia team likes to relax when they need some de-stressing …

Relax on white sand beaches, unwind with spectacular snorkelling and a quiet swim. Sink into a hammock or tee off on a world-class golf course. Explore lush rain forests or indulge in luxurious spa treatments. In Fiji, you just do what makes you happy.

Find out more at www.fiji.travel

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