3 Tips to Help You Set Boundaries
Boundaries act like an imaginary line to separate yourself from a stressful or anxiety-inducing situation so you can take care of your own needs.
Setting boundaries can make us feel uncomfortable because of other people’s expectations of us and their needs. We can feel guilty for letting people down and the process can feel awkward. However, if something is becoming too much for you and you’re feeling like you can’t cope because of certain situations, whatever it is, it’s OK to back away if you need to and look after yourself.
The uncomfortableness around boundary setting comes from the pressure that we put on ourselves to do all the things. We feel obliged to serve others at a detriment to our own mental health.
What it really boils down to is how much you value yourself and how much you believe that you deserve your own care. Now I wholeheartedly believe that you deserve to look after yourself, but you perhaps don’t. It can be so easy to do things for other people instead of yourself right? This all stems from a lack of self-worth and cultivating a strong belief that you are deserving of the love that you give so freely to others. It can take a lot of mindset work and time to develop your self-worth, especially if you’ve been in a negative place.
I want to share with you 3 top tips on how to set boundaries to help remove those uneasy feelings when setting them.
Make an actionable list focused on what you value
This exercise involves writing down a list of the things you value in your life. Follow on with a second column and fill with what you need to manifest these values to bring them to life. Then create a third column looking at how you’re going to honour those needs with actionable steps.
For example, you may value quality time with family or friends and for that to happen you need to focus on connections and reinforcing those relationships. To honour the need you might call a family member, arrange to meet up or go out for dinner to make it happen.
Adjust your mindset around boundaries
Believe it or not, saying “no” is a form of self care.
It can feel uneasy saying it out loud but it can be essential and necessary. If saying no makes you feel awkward think about everything that you’re saying yes to:
- More time for things that bring you joy
- Looking after your mental health
- Things that serve you
- Honouring your boundaries and needs
Communicate your boundaries in a positive way
When you are communicating your boundaries keep it short and sweet and be kind about it.
Begin the sentence in a positive way so it sounds more gentle and polite to the other person. For example, you can say something like:
- “Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I can’t do this right now.”
- “I’d really love to but I’ve got a lot on at the moment.”
Whatever your needs are right now, please remember that they’re important too. Learning to say no to things that don’t serve you and setting boundaries is a massive dose of self care loveliness.
Are you good at setting boundaries? How does saying no make you feel?