What does the relief of missing out mean to you?

One thing I’ve learned as a coach is that ‘health is being in the right place’. When you are recovering serial over committer like me, it can be a great joy to turn down something that would have, for whatever reason, been too much. Sometimes, it is just better to be doing what feels right for you, even if it means that you’re missing something else that you may well have enjoyed. Having the confidence to allow yourself to know what you really need, that it’s ok to say ‘that’s enough’ is a very real gift.

Why do people experience a sense of relief when plans get cancelled?

Often people experience relief when plans get cancelled simply because they have got too much to do, and it creates a space in the diary. We can all get pulled into filling all the time we have, in and out of work, and forgetting that we really need ‘down time’ for ourselves, so that we can let ourselves (and our nervous systems) rest and recover. It takes real commitment and discipline to timetable this in, so sometimes a cancellation gives us what we really need.

Are there potential negatives to feeling a sense of relief when plans get cancelled all time?

Any pattern that we fall into without being conscious or intentional can have its downside, because we aren’t operating in our full agency – we’re leaving ourselves out of having full choice in our lives. So if you are using other people cancelling arrangements as a way of allowing yourself to have time out or space, it may be worth checking in with yourself about what it is you really need to resource you and give you energy.

How can people learn to balance the relief of missing out while still engaging with friends and family?

Life is all about making healthy choices, and in the busy-ness of today’s world those choices can feel really difficult. We have to choose between lots of things that we might like to do, and in making a choice, accept that we will be missing out on something else that would have been lovely too.

The best way to make choices is to tune into what matters to you most at the moment, and be honest about your energy levels and what you need in order to live a full and active life. For most of us, this involves a blend of ‘me time’ and time with friends and family. We need both in our lives and getting the balance right will change depending on circumstance. Rather than thinking in either/or terms, think ‘both/and’. Connecting and belonging are really important, and so is resting and giving yourself what you need. Thinking like this, can allow you to plan so that all your needs are met and you are able to choose what helps you to thrive by doing some things and getting comfortable with missing out on others.

First published in Stylist magazine.

Related articles