Setting boundaries is critical for your well-being, otherwise, you can burn out. But why is it so hard?! Think about a time when someone was standing too close to you for comfort (especially during Covid ahh!). You wanted to move away, right? You may have felt like your personal space was being invaded – so in turn you perhaps created more space between you and that person. You set a boundary. When we set a boundary for ourselves, we are practicing self-care. Some boundaries are easier to set than others, but when we do that, we create a barrier that defines us as separate from others.
Why set boundaries?
Setting boundaries is essential for your overall well-being. It enables you to have a sense of control over your emotional and physical space and time. It also helps you develop a sense of independence over your time and surroundings while staying true to yourself and your needs.
Boundaries also help you create clear guidelines as to how you would like to be treated and honors your needs and wants so that you feel respected and safe.
How to set boundaries
Acknowledge the fact you deserve to be treated with respect! Have the self-awareness that you need to set clear boundaries for yourself
Reflect and start to define what boundaries you already have in place, and where you need boundaries set.
Regarding the boundaries that need to be set, recognize your needs within those boundaries. Boundaries may be different in the various aspects of your life.
Ensure you communicate your boundaries and thoughts respectfully and clearly, and in return respect others’ boundaries that are communicated to you!
Own your “No”. Setting boundaries may mean you have to say no from time to time. This can be hard, especially for those that like to help people (ahem me!). Saying no is simply taking care of yourself and not doing harm to others. Respectfully decline and move on!
Examples of healthy boundaries: (reference Positive Psychology)
Declining anything you don’t want to do
Expressing your feelings responsibly
Talking about your experiences honestly
Replying in the moment
Addressing problems directly with the person involved, rather than with a third party
Making your expectations clear rather than assuming people will figure them out.
Benefits of setting boundaries
Helps you build greater self-esteem and self-respect
Enables you to get a clear understanding of who you are, what you want, your values, and purpose
Helps you bring focus onto yourself and your overall well-being
Enhances your mental and emotional well-being
Helps you avoid burnout
Enables you to develop independence
Improves relationships with yourself and others
Increases respect for others
So go ahead – set those boundaries, own them, and enhance that self-love!
Author: Melissa Dupuis