“No, I don’t want to”
I think people are afraid of saying these words, and for many reasons alike.
I think many people that struggle with anxiety feel forced they need to do something they might not want to do in order to maintain a relationship with friends and family. Saying no to someone because you need to focus on yourself is never a wrong thing to do. Especially if you tell the person no for a mental health related reason. So many people are worked up with keeping their boss happy, their partner happy, friends, family, pets, etc. that they take no time for themselves.
It’s hard to tell someone, because in the back of your mind you know you may make them disappointed you aren’t going to that party, or getting ice cream with them, but if you go physically, and not mentally, are you really there?
You shouldn’t be afraid to tell them no because if a mental health related issue, and if you tell a person you can’t do a particular thing because you had a rough day at work, or are stressed out about what the next week is bringing, more times than not they will understand because more times than not they have been in the exact same situation you’re going through.
There is a fine line between this, if you need some time to yourself, TAKE IT. Nobody is stopping you; but if going out to get that ice cream with that friend relieves your stress and anxiety then do that. You have to do what works for you. You do not need to do what everyone else does to feel relieved, do what feels right.
But don’t be afraid to say no.