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Caregiver: How to Say No



Learning how to say "no" to others can be hard. Especially when you’re so used to putting your loved one first. The truth is, as a family caregiver, you are a superhero - but even superheroes have limits!


Set Limits


Setting limits on how much you can take on, and what kinds of things you take on, is important to keeping you from overwhelming yourself and potentially suffering burn out. As you know, burnout is a popular caregiver topic and its something we try to avoid.


Pick the Right Support System


Most people will understand if you explain that you already have a full plate. If they don’t, that says more about them than it does about you. What does this mean? Be glad you said "no" in this instance and remove the self doubt.


Sometimes we just need someone to tell us that it is in fact okay to say "no" - so here it is my friends, "It is TOTALLY OKAY to say NO!"


Say "No" to Activities Too


It’s not just about saying no to people asking for help. You can say no to any activity that you won’t really enjoy, you can say no to things that don’t bring you purpose, and you can say no to things that will overwhelm your own well-being (taking away personal time, rest time, etc), or interfere with your ability to provide care to your child/parent/loved one.


Get Past Guilt


If you're the type of person who feels guilt when saying no, try making a list of things that you in your current role as a caregiver have time to do. This may be a list which says that on Tuesdays you can grab coffee with a friend and on Sundays you have that completely reserved for you. Putting it on paper means that you can turn down a request fully knowing your time and energy status.


This article from Medium is super helpful!

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Coaching for Caregivers Canada - 2018.