Managing Stress: Part 2 – Know Your Limits

Written by: Kate Smith, M.A.
Managing Stress: Part 2 – Know Your Limits

Today’s society seems to value being busy, sometimes even overwhelmingly so. Do you know someone who tells you about all the places they had to go in one day? All the errands they ran, going back and forth because someone forgot something, being double booked and having to miss events or cancel last minute, always running late with a list of reasons why? These people seem to wear their stress like a badge of honor. But when you tell them it sounds like too much or they need a break, you can almost see the relief wash over them, as if their efforts are finally being recognized for the first time.

So why do we push ourselves over the edge? More often than not, it’s because we do not want to, or don’t know how, to say ‘no’. We have this unfounded fear that people won’t like us, or they will think us rude if we say no. We worry about all the things someone might think, when really, we’ve put that on ourselves.

Learn to trust your own judgement on when enough is enough, but also, trust others to understand. We all get busy, we all get stretched too thin sometimes. It’s ok to admit that. It’s ok to say ‘I wish I could, but we have such a full week, we need some family time this weekend.’ Or ‘that sounds lovely, we’d love to join you next time.’

It’s up to each of us to know our own limits and more importantly, to respect those limits. There will be times when we have to take on the world, but in order to have the energy to do so, we have to give ourselves permission to just say no.