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The Power of Saying NO During Your Recovery Journey

Victory Bay

Recovery is a journey and will take learning some new behaviors to make it successful. Setting boundaries is key to putting yourself and your mental health first. This is especially important during your recovery. Setting boundaries often looks like saying no to anything that might hinder the progress you’ve made or hope to make. Saying no is something that can be seen as a bad thing and can carry guilt with it, but in reality, it can be freeing. Constantly saying yes to everything can have you ending up in situations that may not actually be good for you. During your recovery, learning to say no can be the difference between thriving or slipping back into old patterns.  


Saying no can feel weird at first, especially if you’re not used to it, so here are some ways to start. 

Start slow

Learning how to say no to big things might take some time. So, start of slow by saying no to small things. This can look like saying no to watching certain television shows or movies, taking the highways instead of the back roads while driving, or even the types of foods you eat.  

Is it a heck yeah or a heck no?

If someone asks you to do something and you’re not sure what to do, think to yourself, “is it a heck yeah?” If it’s not, then it might as well be a heck no. It’s important to be intentional about how you spend your time, as doing the things you truly want to do will make a significantly positive impact on your mental health.

Don’t apologize for saying no

When you’re setting boundaries and saying no to something, stand firmly behind your decision and do not waiver. One thing that can help you do this is to gain and understanding of why you’re saying no to something. If you feel strongly about the reason you’re saying no to something, you are more likely to remain committed to it. 

Make sure you’re saying yes for the right reasons

Learning how to say no also comes with saying yes for the right reasons. Make sure that when you do decide to say yes to something, that it’s because that’s what you want, and not what someone else wants or is expecting of you. Also try to run it through a filter of, is this something that is good for you? 

Release guilt

One of the reasons people tend to have a hard time saying no to people, things, and situations, is because of the guilt that may surface. Putting your mental health and recovery first is essential and should trump any feelings of guilt. When you start to feel guilty, try to take a step back and understand why you are feeling this way. 

Keep your goals front and center

By always having your goals in mind, it will make it easier for you to make decisions, whether it’s a yes or a no. Your goals for your recovery will help keep you on the right path and help guide you in times of uncertainty. It’s important to say no to anything that hinders your progress or will lead you off the right path forward.

Recovery with Victory Bay

At Victory Bay we’re here to help you achieve a new life with a new start in recovery. To learn more about the variety of treatment programs we offer, including mental health, eating disorders, and substance use, contact us today by calling 855.239.5099.