When I Need to Say No to the To-Do List (and Rest)

This post was updated on 15/06/21

In my latest post on Simply Shine, I said that I have been in danger of getting over-whelmed. Life has been busy recently and there is only so much juggling I can do!  I’m not there and have caught it in time through self-awareness and recognising how it manifests for me. However now is the time to take a step back, reassess and to do that I need to say no to the to do list.

This isn’t an unusual feeling so this might be something you can relate to. It is also not anything to feel guilty or worried about. Sometimes life gets busy and we need a breather, that’s why people take holidays.


My ethos is all about self-development work (retraining my brain) to live simply and enjoy life (shine). This is a perfect example of where I put that ethos into practice. In this post I would like to explain what I am doing and maybe inspire you to do the same.

When you are feeling overwhelmed, or at least starting to feel that way, looking at a long to do list can be daunting. You might not have the energy to work on it or know that if you do then your energy might quickly deplete. You have permission to put the to do list to one side, but just before you do…

Have a Minimal List

What tasks or activities have to be done in the day. Write a list of those and tick them off as you. If nothing else gets done, it doesn’t matter.


Always always always remember self-care. It will boost you self-esteem, your sense of worth and help you start to feel better, sooner. I promote three self-care activities every day. Why not post about what you’re doing on social media, using the hashtag #3forMe

Don’t let other people’s priorities become yours.

Maybe someone else has left something to the last minute. It would be really helpful for a friend if you could just do X Y or Z. Protect your time and be mindful of your energy levels.

Ask for Help

Be courageous enough to ask for help. When you have a chronic illness some days may well be worse than others. This is something that we learn to accept for our own peace of mind. On the days that are more of a struggle, ask family or friends to help out. They will only be happy to help. Accept that you need to take a break and enjoy the time resting.

Pace Yourself

When you start to feel ready to take on the world again, don’t take on the world! If you try and play catch up, you’re likely to run your energy levels right down again. Pace yourself and only do what you can do.

You might also want to read Slowing down to enjoy life more

So those are my tips for when things start to get too much. Do you have any to add? I would love to read them in the comments below.

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