Stop Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do


Woman thinking

Stress during divorce

When you take a look at your calendar from last week, how many things were on there that you really wanted to do?

Did you work late when you really didn’t have to? Attended some social gatherings that lasted too long and weren’t what you expected them to be? Did you decide to help out your relatives or friends even though it cut directly into your very limited personal time and left your emotional fuel tank near empty?

All of these can easily start to clutter up– leading to resentment, anger, fatigue and a huge drain of your emotional energy.  As your emotional energy tank continues to drain itself dry, you can find yourself depressed, taken advantage of and angry at yourself for taking on too much. Especially during times of huge life stressors such as separation or divorce, it’s easy to keep on adding too much to your plate.

Why do we do continue to do this to ourselves?

In her book, “The Emotional Energy Factor,” Therapist Mira Kirshenbaum explains that we fall into this pattern of taking on too much mindlessly and we worry that those around us will think of us as irresponsible and selfish.

Are you over-committed to your kids’ sports teams, Scouts, or school activities? Are you that conscientious, ambitious and reliable person who your boss knows will say yes when it comes to trading your vacation days, working on holidays or staying late even though you really don’t want to?

Although our country has certainly benefitted greatly from hard work and dedication, if your emotional and physical health are suffering, you are paying way too high of a price.

Do you know how to Stop Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do?

“There are always ways you can stop doing what you don’t want to do, even if you cut down just a little.

You don’t have to turn your life upside down or become a different person. It has nothing to do with completely changing your priorities or your lifestyle. All that’s exhausting in itself.

What you do have to do is a lot easier. Just cut back. Just stop doing some things you don’t want to do.

Say no here and there. Part of this is about simplifying and distressing your life. But a big part of it is getting the sense of empowerment that comes from knowing you can say no.”




Please let me know your thoughts in the Comments Section below.


  1. Saying no sometimes can give you so much more fuel to be extraordinary with the what you decide to do. The message you have provided here can’t be said too often in this busy, busy world we have agreed to create. Thank you!

  2. Great advice but sometimes it is so hard to do. Simplifying is the key, along with prioritizing.

  3. Great post and so important! I first started to think about putting myself first when I realised I had a chronic condition which would require a change of lifestyle. It’s not actually necessary to leave it that late! I found Cheryl Richardson’s book “Extreme Self Care” very helpful. I now also belong to a community of women in the UK called Damsels in Success, for women entrepreneurs, which has an ethos of taking care of ourselves first. I am so much happier, more relaxed and more productive now, after making quite a few changes, some of them radical, and I know my family have benefitted as well!

  4. You are so right we must learn how to say No more especially when we are taking on tasks that are not our favorite & when we are over tasking ourselves.

    We will be happier & those around us will be as well.


  5. Good reminder! My mom is one of those people who has a hard time saying no, and then gets over stressed with all of her commitments. Some of us need permission to take time for ourselves!

  6. Protecting your emotional resources and making self-care a priority are so important while going through divorce. It can be too easy to always put the needs of other before your own, and the result is “you can find yourself depressed, taken advantage of and angry at yourself for taking on too much. ” Well said. Learning to say “no” takes practice, but the reward of better emotional health is worth the work.

  7. Great reminder! Thanks!