Self-Care Saturday: Say No

Go on, I dare you.

Life is full of obligations. We have to go to work. We have to look after our children. We have to do a lot of things.

More, though, there are a lot of things that we feel like we have to do. We might wish to stay in and have a quiet evening to ourselves, but we feel as though we should really head to the work social and make an appearance.

We might feel like we have to listen to all of our friend’s problems even though we have more than enough on our own plate.

In truth, though, we don’t have to do those things. We’re not bound by law. Nobody will get hurt if we decline. Sometimes, what we really need to do more than anything isn’t to work ourselves to the bone trying to fulfil other people’s needs, but to just say no.

Your wants are important, too. There’s only so much you can give before you burnout. Don’t get to that point. Whatever it is that you really just don’t want to do today, don’t do it.

Allow yourself some time off. We all need some time off every once in a while, so why should you have to be an exception to that rule?

Am I saying you should slack? Am I saying you should give up on your goals? Of course not. What I’m saying is that there’s no shame in declining offers in order to protect your health and wellbeing.

Say no to the things in life that only bring you down. Because, after all, if it doesn’t add to your life, it doesn’t belong in your life.


I’m sorry - I haven’t been that great at sending daily emails this week. If you’re new here, read this email. It explains why I’m slacking.

In short, I’m in a pretty sticky situation at the moment and haven’t had much time to write. I guess now I’m the one making excuses, aren’t I?

Thank you for being patient with me. I’ll be back on track soon, I promise.

- Adrian


Self-Care Saturday: It’s important to work hard, but it’s also important to look after ourselves. When we’re busy, our mental and physical health are usually the first things to fall to the bottom of our priority pile. For that reason, Self-Care Saturday is all about taking the time out indulge in a little self-love - about discovering new ways to take care of ourselves, even if that means we have to take a day off.


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

What's Your Excuse?

It’s easy to make excuses. I do it all the time.

We might eat a lot of junk food at the weekend, forget about our fitness regimen and blame it all on the fact that there just weren’t any healthy options. Perhaps we sleep in late, snooze our alarm and tell ourselves that it’s too late to go to the gym now.

Whatever the situation, there really is no excuse. Often, the issue is that we just failed to prepare.

In the case of binge-eating pizza from Friday to Sunday, can we blame convenience? Or are we to blame for failing to prepare?

And in the case of the gym, is it really our alarm’s fault? Or should we have slept earlier the night before?

Really, we don’t have an excuse. Just a few weeks ago I tried to make excuses. My fiancé was taken into hospital to live out her final stages of life with brain cancer. I stopped working. Stopped writing. Stopped living a normal life.

But then I realised, despite the circumstances, I was just making excuses. Nothing was stopping me from carrying on with those things in my spare time, and so I carried on.

If I can carry on, so can you. Your excuses are only going to harm one person: you. So stop lying to yourself, and start doing what you need to do.


Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Self-Care Saturday: Be More Selfish

And don't feel bad about it.

We all have wants and needs. We might want another slice of cake, but we need to lose weight. We might want to skip work, but we need today’s pay. We might want to binge-watch Netflix, but we need a good night’s sleep.

One of the simplest switches in mindset that I’ve made is to start attending to my needs more than my wants. Desire is fickle. Desire isn’t the same as happiness. We might want something but not necessarily need it. We might want something but need the opposite.

Fulfilling your needs is about taking care of yourself. It’s about doing the right thing for you.

It’s also about acknowledging that, sometimes, it’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to put your own needs before the wants and the demands of others. Your colleagues might want you to cover their shifts, but you might need to take a day off to rest. And that’s okay.

As David Samson put it,

‘Selfishness is putting the wants of yourself over the needs of others. Self-respect is putting your needs over the wants of others.’

Putting your needs first isn’t selfish. Putting your needs above the wants of yourself and others is essential to avoiding burnout, over-exhaustion and staying happy.


Self-Care Saturday: It’s important to work hard, but it’s also important to look after ourselves. When we’re busy, our mental and physical health are usually the first things to fall to the bottom of our priority pile. For that reason, Self-Care Saturday is all about taking the time out indulge in a little self-love - about discovering new ways to take care of ourselves, even if that means we have to take a day off.


Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

You Don't Have to Procrastinate

It's a choice, not a necessity.

I meet many people that complain of not being able to complete their work without becoming distracted. That’s understandable. I’m the same a lot of the time. But it isn’t a case of ‘not being able’ - that’s just an excuse. They’re all perfectly able of ignoring those distractions and staying on track.

Really, procrastination is a choice, not a necessity.

You could complete the work you need to complete today. You don’t have to play video games. You don’t need to eat that slice of cake.

What you do is entirely up to you. You have free will. You can do as you please. You know what needs to be done, you know what you need to do in order to succeed, but for whatever reason you’ve decided to do something else. Something unimportant.

At the end of the day, procrastinating is a choice. Nobody else is going to suffer when you make the wrong choice - only you.

What are you going to do today? The work you know you need to complete? Are you going to put in the hours, or are you going to keep wasting valuable time? It’s up to you.


Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Prioritise Your Work in Terms of Urgency

Not pleasure.

I often fall into the trap of waking up, sitting down at my desk and proceeding to complete the work that I enjoy the most, irrelevant of the impending deadlines that are waiting to swallow me up. Why? Because it’s fun.

It’s a mistake that a lot of us make. We prioritise our work in terms of pleasure rather than importance. Alas, we wind up spending all of our time completing the tasks that we enjoy and then leave ourselves with none to take care of those that demand our urgent action.

Really, though, it would make far more sense for us to tackle the important things first so that we can proceed to relish in our favourite work without regret. That way, we can create freely without being watched over by those looming deadlines, resting assured knowing that we’re on top of everything.

It’s 9pm where I am in the UK at the moment. I have a lot of work to complete tonight, and I very nearly took to practicing piano before taking care of the important things - like today’s newsletter. But then I reminded myself that, actually, I should prioritise my work in terms of urgency, not in terms of pleasure.

By doing so, I allowed to focus intently my writing - the task at the top of my priority list. Then I can move on to do the things I enjoy most with a clear head and plenty of free time. Try it. It works wonders on your productivity levels.


Photo by Tyler Franta on Unsplash

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