Just Say No! (It's Okay!)
I really like to help out my family, friends, and neighbors whenever I can, but in the past few years I've gotten better about learning when I should say "Sorry, but no." I find that it's helpful to decide which obligations in your life are the most important — then you'll be able to prioritize. As for the others, learn to say a polite but firm no!
Saying no protects your time and energy, but it can be hard to muster the courage to do — especially if you're someone who likes to please others. To get into practice, try saying "No, but thank you for thinking of me." It helps to thank the person for the opportunity before you turn him or her down, and you'll be less likely to feel guilty afterward. You can also give the person a reason you can't help, if you have one and are comfortable sharing the information â€” or you can just say that you've been overextending yourself lately and need to cut back.
Yes, you'll feel guilty for a few minutes, but think how relieved you'll be afterward! I believe that it's possible to pitch in and help your friends and neighbors and kids without feeling overwhelmed and overcommitted — just decide which efforts you want to make and don't be afraid to turn down the rest. You owe it to yourself!