As people with chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia, we need to learn to value our time and conserve our energy. There was a time when I could say yes to just about anything. That is no longer the right choice for me. As fibromyalgia patients, we need to respect our energy levels when we are asked to do something or go somewhere. It’s lovely when we can say yes, and important that we learn to say no — graciously, of course.
When we say yes instead of no, it can create a whirlwind of stress and overwhelm us. I have a sister who lives about an hour from me, and we try to get together once or twice a month at my house. I know that when she comes she stays for four hours, and when she leaves I am completely exhausted. But I love our time together. Sometimes I have to cancel at the last minute, and I’m so thankful that she understands.
Think of saying no as setting healthy boundaries for yourself. Think of your yeses as a gift you save for those times that you choose. Some people won’t understand, and some will even become angry. Don’t let their issues become your issues. Be loving and kind but adamant when you have to decline. Don’t be guilt-tripped into accepting. Let this be a resolution that you try in 2019.
I used to feel bad when I had to say no, and that just added to my stress levels. I know that I’m doing the best I can every day, and even if I make plans with every intention of following through with them, I can’t predict what my body will do when that date or time arrives. I have taken the guilt and packed it away in the very back of my emotional closet. That way, I’ll forget that it’s there and instead I will choose joy, peacefulness, and self-acceptance. We have only this one life; live it the way that honors you and your fibromyalgia.
Like the sneaker brand’s slogan urges us to “Just do it,” give yourself permission to “Just say no.”
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.