I’ve always struggled with being a people-pleaser.

I was the one who felt as if I would be letting someone down if I didn't say yes to help with everything, so I would constantly agree to every request, no matter how it might inconvenience or overwhelm me. I honestly felt as though it would be impolite to say “no,” and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.

This mentality grew increasingly stressful for me and my family. I was constantly drained, anxious, and unable to cope with everything I had added to my plate.

Enough was enough. After some wonderful Christian counseling, I realized that it was OK to say no. I needed to set boundaries for my mental health. I needed to prioritize my time with my husband and children.

Over time, I began to identify the activities and people draining my energy and causing me stress. I also sat down and made a list of the things that were important to me. When someone would ask me to do something, I would pause and consider whether it aligned with my priorities. If it didn't, I began to say “no,” politely but firmly. And in saying “no,” I was actually saying “yes” to myself and my well-being.

At first, I of course worried that my friends and family would be disappointed or upset with me for saying “no.” But to my surprise, they were very understanding and even more supportive of the new boundaries.

As I started saying “no” more often, I found more time and energy for the things that were important to fulfilling my role as a wife and mother. I had more time to focus on hobbies — mainly those outside with the farm and my chickens — which left me feeling much happier and more fulfilled. My mental health also improved as I spent more time equipping my faith through Scripture, reading to manage my stress and anxiety.

By setting boundaries and prioritizing your spiritual and mental health, along with important family time, you, too, will be able to live a more balanced and fulfilling life. It’s important to remember that God calls us to do some things, but not all things. When we are focused on fulfilling our purpose in his will, things are much easier to accomplish. It is only when we start adding extra plans that everything gets overwhelming.

Friends, some days are harder than others and the only thing you can do is the next thing, and that is it. You will certainly have many things to keep you going, but it is OK to say “no” when there just isn’t extra time. Our families need us as much as we need them. Keep your head up, and don’t feel the need to apologize for fulfilling the tasks God has given you first. If there is time after that, lend a hand when you are able.

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