“Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”
Tool # 6 of the Refresh, Reset & Reconnect Series:
Set up Healthy Boundaries
When you set up healthy boundaries, you are telling yourself that you care about you!
It’s not selfish. It’s necessary.
Healthy boundaries are the limitations you set for yourself and others. They can be mental, emotional, physical and material.
When you cultivate healthy boundaries, you are not being rude or unkind.
It means you are changing what you are being agreeable about.
Instead of saying yes to please others, you are changing that yes, to self care-to take care of YOU.
And, you are saying NO to overwhelm, stress and being out of alignment with what makes you light up and is important to you.
Having healthy boundaries increases your assertiveness.
It empowers you to feel in charge of your life, instead of giving over your power to others or past “shoulds.”
You are better equipped to handle others’ requests without knee jerk reacting with a yes, because you are using your own inner guidance system.
You first need to assess where you may be needing some boundary setting.
These can be red flags that you need to establish healthy boundaries.
Are you feeling:
- Exhausted, powerless, unsure of where you end and others begin?
- e: When boundaries are not in place, you may find yourself being caught up in others’ dramas, take them on as your own and feel energetically depleted more often than not!
- Resentful of a person/event/situation?
- e: You’ve been consistently saying yes to having holiday family dinners and now it’s a given that you’ll be the one doing it.
- Uncomfortable around a particular person or circumstances?
- e: You have a co-worker who constantly dumps all her personal troubles on you. You’d rather not hear them, yet you say nothing or you attempt to give advise, which has you more involved in the drama and you feel very uncomfortable with all of this.
- Obligated more often than enthused about commitments you’ve made.
- e: You volunteered for a community service, but no longer feel very enthused about it. You are having a hard time letting it go because you feel so obligated.
- Feeling obligated and continuing to do things you really don’t want to do anymore, blocks opportunities for more inspiring experiences in your life to occur. It detaches you from your essence and life force.
How to set up healthy boundaries for YOU!
Identify what you need!
- More time for yourself?
- Less responsibility at work/home?
- Respect from family members?
- Less volunteer projects?
- Less time being digitally connected?
Create a boundary based on your needs.
- Start small-in order to build muscle of boundary setting
- Schedule more “me” time-make sure others are aware of this special time
- Practice saying “No” to more work responsibilities if you are already overwhelmed.
Eliminate energy drains.
- Tune into your feelings to identify who or what tends to drain your energy.
- Learn to say NO to people you have identified as energy drainers.
- Imagine a clear “protective bubble” around you that deflects negative energy off you!
Remember: You are not responsible for others’ responses as you honor YOUR need for healthy boundaries.
- State your needs assertively-not aggressively-being respectful of others, but not having to be responsible for how they react.
- Don’t try to make it “all better” for them.
- Keep firm in your choice of boundaries.
- Don’t allow others to guilt trip you into ignoring your own needs.
- Be aware/mindful of how you are feeling in any given environment.
- Use tools/practices for stress relief.
- Being aware and mindful will keep giving you more feedback and clarity on what is most important for you and help keep you focused on so you can catch yourself if/when you slip!
Remember it’s a process.
- Start small.
- Be patient with yourself
- Keep practicing!
- It’s a skill that you build on!
Wishing you Happy boundary setting during the holidays and beyond!