It's Okay To Say No Sometimes

It's Okay To Say No Sometimes

After all, it is only just two letters.

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I have always been a people pleaser. It's practically in my DNA. I have a hard time using the two-letter word at the expense of myself. I found that recently this constant attitude of yes is really starting to wear down on me and has left me feeling as if I am an exhausted version of the energizer bunny. Self-care is important and must be built into your daily schedule whether it be for five minutes or two hours. I find that sitting down on the couch and binge-watching my favorite Netflix show with a face mask on really helps me relax. Another way is to sit down with friends and an iced coffee on my hand while listening to music. My boyfriend and friends constantly remind me that I need to step back and take a deep breath. It is easy to fall into saying the yes to all of the outside pressures that college brings. At the end of the day, I find myself needing to remember that I am only one person and can only do so much.

Saying no is theoretically not a difficult action in itself but I often find myself going back and forth because I want to make everyone happy. The concept of letting someone down has been a very hard pill to swallow over the past few years. I find that I am in a constant state of being sleep deprived during the week and then I find myself sleeping until noon on the weekends to catch up. In reality, sleeping until noon only makes it harder to wake up on Monday morning. I am an extremely extroverted person and I function best when I am around people. I plan out every day of my week so that I am both studying and hanging out with friends at the same time. I have been fighting a chronic illness has also negatively. I am learning to step back and it feels good to do what I want. I am planning out my schedules to give myself more time to reflect and have starting writing in a journal about the things I am thankful for every day.

I have gradually gotten better over the last few months, largely thanks to the support of my family and boyfriend. He is very supportive often keeping a busy schedule but also doesn't hesitate to remind me that no one knows me better than myself as clique as that sounds. I find myself saying yes to clubs, hanging out with friends, and having people over so much that I forget what quiet feels like. I would do anything for the people that I love but always remember that self-love is important too.

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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The Art Of 'Doing Enough'

I could handle anything and everything that was thrown at me, and even when I did it all and did it right, I still felt like I could do more.

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Do you fall into the trap of needing to completely occupy your time, or feeling like you're not successful unless your day is jam-packed with running all over the place?

You wake up at the crack of dawn to work out, quickly run home to shower and get ready before class, rush to work, and then afterward still have to do homework or go food shopping. But you get this overwhelming sense of feeling like you are so successful because you just stretched yourself so thin, yet somehow got it all done.

That has summed up my life for the last four years. Having my day completely booked is almost a distraction for me. I'm running away from my thoughts, my problems, my feelings. So, when I'm busy, I can't think about those things.

I have a deep-rooted sense of never being enough, whether that be for myself or for everyone else. I'm terrified of letting others down. "Disappointed" is a word I never want to hear from others, but somehow, I always end up disappointing myself by pleasing them. I'm left overstretched, stressed out, and holding onto my sanity by a thread.

But that's okay because everyone is happy. I made it to class on time, to work on time, to my appointments, to get dinner with my friends. I did it all. I feel a sense of fulfillment of knowing that I'm doing everything I possibly can.

The days I rest are a different story. The days that I decided to not work out, I don't have class or work, the days when I can just completely veg out, are the days I feel like a failure. I feel lazy. I feel like I'm wasting a perfect day to get stuff done.

I'm only going to say this once, but some days not doing anything, is doing more than enough. Mental health is so crucial for your physical health as well. I've made myself sick over how stressed out I was. By putting so much on my plate, barely sleeping, drinking too much caffeine, eating snacks, and not having enough water and meals, I got sick because of the stress I thought I could handle.

The truth is, I was trying to prove to everyone and myself that I can do X, Y, and Z and do it damn well. I could handle anything and everything that was thrown at me, and even when I did it all and did it right, I still felt like I could do more. Or that what I was doing wasn't enough. There was always one more mile I could've run or one more thing I could've done; nothing was ever good enough.

When, in reality, the thing I wasn't doing enough of was self-care and self-compassion. I was doing enough, way more than enough, and I didn't realize that until I had finally broke. My body gave up on me. It physically stopped me from doing what I wanted. It told me no, for the first time in a very long time.

Sitting with that feeling was extremely hard. Knowing that you can't do the things you want and having to face not doing a million things is so uncomfortable. That's when the quote, "Life starts at the end of your comfort zone," really comes into play.

Being tied to doing too much is never a good thing. You are putting yourself last. You are losing pieces of yourself every single day in order to make others feel whole.

Taking care of yourself is enough. Laying in sweats all day and eating ice cream is enough. Simply just breathing and putting one foot in front of the other on really bad days, is enough.

I can promise you that, sometimes, the littlest things can make you feel the most successful and fulfilled. You just have to find what those things are for you.

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