Have you seen the buzz about mental health lately? Maybe, maybe not? Well, mental health is much more than about 'clinical sickness' these days. It's about strain. It's about stress. It's about anxiety-ridden days. It’s perhaps more relevant now than ever, at least in our lifetime.
Work, kids, parenting, and social life? All in the middle of a pandemic. How do we do it all? It starts with establishing the proper guidelines, setting the right expectations, implementing, and adopting this somewhat simple rule.
The rule of 'The 5 YES’s and 3 NO’s
How often do you struggle to balance your "To-Do" list? I mean, is it even possible to balance a list that never ends? Perhaps for some.
As a mental health therapist, I have seen an unprecedented uptick in anxiety and depression over the last year, and rightfully so. We are going through uncharted territory. We are dealing with a pandemic. All while trying our best to be our children's educator and juggle our career workload from the comfort of our living room. Tack on all of the ease that comes with parenting and being a husband or wife.
And, we're expected to keep our shit together. Right.
It's nothing short of overwhelming for most. I, myself, started to think about a rule that would help keep my mental health in check to help me help others keep their mental health in check, and, ultimately, help balance all my other duties outside of "work life."
I suggest incorporating this rule into your daily life as if your wellbeing depends on it because if you’re anything like me, your home life and sanity most certainly depend on it.
💡 This is when 5 YES's and 3 NO's came to me.
The 5 YES’s - How it works.
Think about the things you HAVE TO say YES to most often. What are they? There are at least 3 static YES's that help establish your routine.
Maybe it is a YES to working so you can pay your bills. Maybe it is a YES to fundamental health needs like sleep, nutrition, and hydration so you can function and perform. Or, perhaps it is a YES to being a parent because your kids need you.
Whatever your static YES's are, now think about how they are working in your life. Are they working for you? Do you find them helpful, stressful, necessary, not all that important? We may not be able to change those; however, maybe we can add two more YES's that balance us out a bit better. Perhaps it is YES to exercise, a YES to an earlier bedtime, or a YES to something/anything that brings joy to your life.
The 3 NO’s - now let’s incorporate these.
We can use the 3 NO's daily to help set personal boundaries in our life. Maybe it is NO to picking up another shift at work, and perhaps it is NO to someone's request for help because you are already overloaded. Our NO's should help us balance out our YES's and re-establish balance in our life.
It is okay to say "NO" to things to protect your mental health. It's okay to say NO to set your boundaries. After all, it starts with us; it begins with you as a functional human being so you can make it all work: your life and your family's life. Remember, you aren’t saying “NO” to deprive your family or responsibilities, you are saying “NO” so you can be the best version of yourself and give your family your best you!
It’s time for you to give it a try!
Now, I encourage you to try the 5 YES's and 3 NO's rule. It isn't an end-all-be-all fix capable of resolving the stressors in life, but I assure you it can help you and your family discover a system of balance. It can help you better manage the curveballs life tosses at you. It can help you find peace in accepting the things you can control and letting go of things you can't. And, most importantly, it can help you improve your mindset and mental health.
You've got this!!
About the Author
Sarah Abegglen, Owner of Abegglen Wellness, Private Practice
My name is Sarah Abegglen. I am a Licensed Clinical Independent Social Worker (LICSW) in the state of Nebraska. I have 15 years of combined experience in social work and therapy. I am an adjunct instructor for the Grace Abbott School of Social Work at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. I work with individuals of all ages. I have specialized training in working with individuals and families affected by trauma, domestic violence, and significant life changes. In addition, I have training to work with LGBTQ+ individuals and am a proud ally. I am also a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. I follow the most up to date standards of care when working with transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.