It’s OK to quit.

I’m sure someone out there needs to hear that. As a millennial, we were taught you can’t quit. You start something, you finish it. You see it through. “You’re not a quitter.” Quitting is for losers.

But sometimes, quitting is the right thing to do. Last year, for the first time in my life, I did a lot of quitting.

I quit my job.

I quit blogging.

I quit following hundreds of people on social media.

I quit dieting.

I quit going to church because it was too hard with my autistic son and his needs not being met.

I just . . . quit.

Not only that, I stopped saying yes, to everything that was asked of me. I started saying noa lot. Did you all know that you can actually turn things down and say, no? More importantly, if you did know, why did none of you tell me?!?

RELATED: The Truth is Moms Who Do it All Are Tired

Sometimes, we say yes so much we spread ourselves entirely too thin.

Yes to taking on extra tasks at work. Yes to all the sports for our kids. Yes to the local PTO group. Yes to running that very important fundraiser. Yes to just one more volunteering opportunity. Yes, yes, and yes.  All very worthwhile yeses, but too many, nonetheless. We say yes because we want to help. We want to contribute. We want people to be happy with us. (Any other people pleasers here? Just me?)

As moms, we have so many fronts to keep up: careers, parenting, running households, being wives, and being good friends. But it doesn’t end there. We must also feel good and look good, all while creating a picture-perfect Instagram feed. We feel like we have to be doing and going above and beyond in all the things all the time. But I have a secret for you:

It is perfectly acceptable to NOT strive, and work, and boss babe it 24/7.

You do not have to do everything all the time. You can take breaks. You can decide that something isn’t for you, and you can quit.

You can (and should) rest. Where did we learn that resting is a bad thing? Our bodies and minds and souls need rest in order to function. You don’t have to earn that rest. Rest is not a reward, it’s a necessity.

And do you know why we need to quit and just say no and rest? Because burnout is a very real thing. Burnout leaves you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. It makes you question every decision you have ever made. It leaves you feeling empty. Burnout steals your passion for your life. It steals your joy.

So this past year, I quit a lot of things. I said no quite a bit. I’ve made time to rest. And do you know what it has done for me?

It taught me that I’m a much calmer person after I sit on the couch and read a book.

RELATED: Taking a Break From My Kids Makes Me a Better Mom

I realized that I receive much more pleasure when I write for myself rather than trying to write to please a particular audience online.

I learned that my thoughts, feelings, and needs matter too.

The past year has allowed me to just be me. To just . . . be.

And sometimes, being is all you can do.

Sometimes, just being is exactly what you need.

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Deidra Darst

Deidra Darst, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and autism mom. She is an advocate, author, and shares her family's journey at\She can be found on Facebook and Instagram @theSLPmom

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