Boundaries protect your personal self by drawing a clear line between what you will do and what you won't which is critical for reducing unnecessary stress, increasing your self esteem and creating healthy relationships.
In a previous blog I wrote about 'maintaining a healthy work-life balance' and the first step was setting goals. Did you write down the things that you wanted to achieve this month? If you need help, check out my blog on 'reclaiming your goals and dreams'.
The second step is setting healthy boundaries and work hours. To nourish yourself and keep your well full of water, it is extremely important to add this as part of your self-care regime.
Having healthy boundaries is not selfish, it is necessary for your own mental health and well-being so that you are able to continue to look after those you love.
It is also important to set your work hours and stick to them. If you are a workaholic, then it is even more vital that you have something in place to make you accountable.
Take a time out
Sometimes we need to step away, if only for an hour, to recharge the batteries. You might go for a walk, read a book or even go into another room for 5 minutes to gather your thoughts and reset yourself for what’s ahead. Add some time out to your to-do-list as it is just as important as any other task on there.
You can say no
There is no shame in saying no. The world will not end, and people will find another way to do what they have asked you. Give yourself permission to say no and don’t feel guilty about it. Spreading yourself thin and doing everything for everyone is the quickest way to deplete your energy.
Make self-care a priority
Making yourself a priority gives you the energy to keep doing what you’re doing. Having a positive attitude about this will also help you when tough situations present themselves.
Know your limits
To help set healthy boundaries you need to know your limits and acknowledge when you are burning out. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, then start identifying your physical, emotional and mental limits. As you recognise those triggers, you can start setting your healthy boundaries.
Communication and consequences
You need to clearly communicate your boundaries. People are going to push your boundaries to their limits to see if you are serious about them and whether you will follow through with what you’ve set. Don’t be afraid to let people know when they’ve crossed your boundary. They may get upset and you can’t control how they feel, but you can control how you feel.
Most importantly, honour yourself.
You only get one shot at life and you want to make the most of it. Do this by honouring who you are and what you believe in, including believing in yourself. If you treat yourself like the front door mat, others may see you the same. So, respect yourself, know your limitations and set your boundaries to live a more fulfilled and healthier life.