Are you a people pleaser? Do you struggle saying no to people and then resent yourself or others?
Building healthy boundaries is not easy if you're used to saying 'yes' to pretty much everyone and everything. There are various reasons you're doing it and trust me, you're not alone. Felling guilty when you say no, because you feel others need your help is just one of them. Maybe you grew up in a family where saying no was never an option and so you don't even realise there is such a word! (Maybe you forgot your toddler years when 'no' was the only word! LOL. Being a people pleaser is also very common and so is the fear of rejection. No one wants to feel rejected. For one reason or another many people see rejection as a personal attack. Even though we know this is not true!
But there is a difference between helping others when you can, feel up to it and nothing else is being scarified.
When you say 'YES' to one thing, you are automatically saying 'NO' to something else, including selfcare, family commitments, etc. Especially in current situation, saying no when we feel people might need us might be very difficult however looking after yourself is equally as important. Because you can't pour from and empty glass. If you're struggling yourself, taking on someone else's problems are likely going to cause issues later down the line.
How can you start building healthy boundaries?
First of all think about who can't you say no to and what is the reason. Is it someone who has helped you in the past and you feel obliged? Or did you help them so many times it now became an expectation? What are the possible consequences if you say no? Are these what you think or does it come from experience? Self analysis is often helpful to find out what is behind the problems you might be experiencing.
Once you note down your answers you can start thinking about ways to say 'no'. "Not now?" Or "Maybe ...... else can help, they'll be much better at it" (check first because you dump it onto someone else.
It is important you start saying no especially if it is affecting you life and every time you say 'yes' your whole body is screaming 'no'. Resentment or burnout will come sooner or later if whatever you agreed to do is not aligned with your beliefs and desires. This doesn't include housework, in case you were wondering.
Once you decided you can no longer say 'yes' prepare for some resistance. It's easier to start with small tasks, for you and for others to realise you will no longer say 'yes' to everything. Don't say 'sorry' when saying 'no' because the other person already has a weak spot to press because they will sense you're feeling bad for 'rejecting' them. Simply thank for understanding but as it stands you cannot help on this occasion. Especially if it wasn't your job in the first place and you were doing someone a favour there really is nothing you should apologize for. It's not going to be easy but realistic people will understand you having boundaries and will ask someone else for help.
However it goes both ways. Be more understanding if someone says 'no' to you. You can learn from them. People who have healthy boundaries are respected and often respectful of others.
Are you ready to build healthy boundaries, start saying 'no' and look after your own wellbeing? Don't let your glass to overflow or try to pour from an empty glass. Saying 'no' to helping someone so you can take a walk, bath, sit on the sofa browsing Netflix to switch off... is absolutely OK! and you are entitled to have time to re-charge your batteries.
Good luck and stay strong!