Having boundaries in place is like lighting a candle and throwing on a sheet mask while laying on the couch on Sunday night. It is just so good. It means that you respect yourself enough to make it known that there is a line that cannot be crossed, because if crossed you will be thrown off your groove. Unfortunately, the tricky thing about boundaries is that although they feel so good once they are set, setting them is probably one of the most uncomfortable, awkward feeling things out there. Many of us have been raised to feel like we’re doing something wrong or being mean when we set boundaries. We are taught to be martyrs and to sacrifice our own mental sanity if it means not offending somebody else. I say it is time to respect ourselves enough to allow ourselves to thrive.
If you want to set boundaries, you need to be honest first with yourself then with others. In order to figure out which boundaries you would like to set, you will have to know which areas of your life could use a bit of an improvement. These boundaries could be emotional or physical. Maybe you don’t want your career or relationship to be open for discussion. Or maybe you want your Sunday nights to be just for you, without distraction from family and friends. Check in with yourself and observe which areas of your life are causing you to experience anger, resentment, guilt, criticism, over-giving, etc. Take note of the people involved in these situations and the energy that they give off. Imagine the situation without their presence and opinions. Would your mental health improve? Ask yourself what areas of my life could use some extra protection. How does it feel when people interfere in those aspects? How would it make me feel once those boundaries are in place? Asking these questions will help you to know what boundaries you want in place. Think about areas of your life that would improve if you didn’t have other people’s energy or opinions butting in. Visualization will help you to understand what boundaries are necessary to set and how good you will feel once it is in place. Having this visual will create an emotional response and therefore make you more compelled to act. Once you are honest with yourself about which areas of your life could use some guarding, you can then become honest with others and express your desire.
One of the reasons setting boundaries is so uncomfortable is because you know that your loved ones usually have pure intentions. No one is trying to intrude or create negativity, in their perspective they are simply trying to help. When setting boundaries with your loved ones keep in mind that they may feel offended and attacked. Remind them that you care about them and that these boundaries have more to do with you than it does with them. Lovingly get your point across in a clear and straight-forward manner. Do not sugarcoat your boundaries or lessen them if someone gets offended. Stay true to yourself and commit to living your life in the healthiest way you know how to.
This is the last and most important step. Without respecting yourself you will not be able to set boundaries because you will not feel like you deserve it. You are deserving of living a life that allows you to thrive and feel at peace. This form of self respects doubles as self care when you allow yourself to be put first and set free from the criticism and opinion of others. If you can identify an area of your life that can be improved, do not be afraid to do it and allow yourself to live well.
Let’s grow together.
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