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  • Writer's pictureC. Booker Hamilton

Ten Ways to Say "No" For Your Soul-Care


"No" is one of the first words we learned, outside of Mama and Dada as a baby, and it is one of the most used words in language. "No" is used to set boundaries and to refrain someone from doing something. It is a definitive word and commands an end to any further thought, action, or conversation. When we add the word "but", either consciously or subconsciously, we negate our response all together. Now, I know that we can't always say, "no". However, when it comes to prioritizing our lives and taking care of ourselves, the ability to say "no" is an absolute must. As Black women, we are almost conditioned to say "yes" to everybody and everything, especially when it comes to our families and our jobs. We can't keep doing this because we are sacrificing our mental and physical health by being overworked and overburdened. We should (1) say "yes" to the things that makes us happy, (2) do things that don't bind up our time, money, and energy, and (3) have an open heart. Below are ten ways to practice your best soul-care by saying "No", respectfully.


  1. "I appreciate the offer, but it doesn't align with my goals right now."

  2. "I'm sorry, but I need to prioritize my own well-being at the moment."

  3. "Thank you for thinking of me, but I can't commit to that right now."

  4. "I would love to help, but I don't have the bandwidth at the moment."

  5. "I've decided to take some time for myself right now, so I'm going to have to pass on this opportunity."

  6. "I respect your request, but I need to focus on my own projects and commitments."

  7. "I'm sorry, but I'm not comfortable with that request at this time."

  8. "Thank you for the invitation, but I need to prioritize my own boundaries and say no."

  9. "I appreciate your interest, but I have to decline for my own personal reasons."

  10. "I'm going to have to pass on that, but thank you for considering me."

You may purchase one of my self-care/soul-care journals, planners, or coloring books on Amazon @ https://www.amazon.com/C-Booker-Hamilton/

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