The past 19+ months have provided us with more than a few challenges, but they’ve also allowed us to reflect on what’s working in our lives and what could use a major overhaul.
An unexpected benefit of all the cancelled happy hours, closed gyms, and remote offices is that it automatically created boundaries for our personal and professional lives. Too exhausted to go out on Friday night? No problem, the bar isn’t open. Don’t feel like going to spin class? Yoga at home sounds better anyway. Have trouble telling co-workers “No” in person? Being off site makes it easier to say you “Have a conflict.”
As you venture back into the (partially) reopened world, you might notice that your exhaustion levels and people-pleasing behaviours have resurfaced. Maybe you’re feeling more drained and less psyched about social obligations. Or you’re experiencing more guilt, regret, and resentment.
Sure, there are a lot of reasons you might be feeling more tanked than usual. But in my decade of experience as a health coach, I’ve seen firsthand what can happen when folks don’t stand up for what they need, when they need it. Research professor and author, Dr. Brené Brown agrees, saying, “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”
In short, boundaries are the limits you decide work for you.
When you say “Yes” to others, you’re often saying “No” to your own needs. You’re telling yourself that pleasing others — or avoiding the fear of rejection, disappointment, criticism, or feeling temporarily uncomfortable — is more important than respecting yourself. Healthy boundaries are a crucial component of self-care. And deciding that you deserve to put limits on your energy and time, especially toward things that don’t serve you, can be a total game-changer.
Benefits of having healthy boundaries:
Boundaries can be physical, emotional, spiritual, work-related, or friend-and-family-related. For example, in my health coach-client relationships, I could set the boundary to keep my own health struggles separate and not share too much about my personal life. Or I could decide that I won’t hold myself responsible for my clients’ slip-ups, or compromise my schedule just to fit someone in last minute.
Healthy boundaries can be set for personal relationships as well. Got a friend who stops by unannounced, with boatloads of comforting junk food, to worry about their never-ending quest to lose weight? Or a sibling who borrows your things without asking? A healthy boundary would require you to speak up about what you need from that relationship — whether it’s letting that friend know they need to give you a head’s up before popping over, or telling your sibling they need to ask first. Or just straight up saying “no.”
And just so you know, not creating boundaries can lead to these same issues appearing over and over again in all of your relationships.
All of this boundary stuff has been well documented too, from research around work-life balance to the expectations of new moms.1 One study, in particular, evaluated 31 participants who’d given birth in the previous year, addressing three things: perceptions regarding the role of maternal self-care, specific applications of self-care in new motherhood (like exercising, seeing friends, allowing dad to jump in to help), and barriers to acting on those applications.2 Researchers found that two ideologies came to the forefront. One, the new moms believed that self-care was important during this time. And two, they associated an extreme form of self-sacrifice was required of them.
In other words, they knew what they needed to do, yet because they believed they had to sacrifice their own needs for those of their baby, they didn’t follow through with any of kind of self-care.
In a nutshell, if a situation you’re repeatedly in makes you feel drained, stressed, overcommitted, overly taxed, or resentful, it’s time to create some boundaries.
Still not sure if you need to create better boundaries? Ask yourself:
Setting boundaries is a life skill, it’s not something you’re inherently born with. It’s also not something you do once and never give another thought to. Your needs, your environment, and the people you interact with are constantly changing, so you’ll need to update and manage your boundaries as those variables change. When you decide to make yourself a priority (yes, that’s what boundaries do), you’ll notice how quickly you feel more empowered and less exhausted. Here are five tips for creating good boundaries in your world:
Healthy boundaries are a critical component of self-care. As you start to realize what limits you need to set for your time and energy (and why that’s important to your overall wellbeing), you’ll quickly see that you don’t need to expend so much energy giving more of yourself than you want. You’ll also see that the fear of rejection, disappointment, and criticism decreases the more you practice these five steps:
What about you? Do you have good boundaries?
The post 5 Tips for Setting Better Boundaries (and Why You Want to) appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.
By: Erin PowerTitle: 5 Tips for Setting Better Boundaries (and Why You Want to)Sourced From: www.marksdailyapple.com/setting-better-boundaries/Published Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2021 16:20:10 +0000