4 Ways I’ve Worked on Establishing Healthy Boundaries
“No" is a complete sentence.”
― Anne Lamott
I have to admit, I’ve struggled with setting boundaries in my life, I’ve allowed people to walk over me, and I’ve sacrificed my well-being for the needs of others. By not establishing clear boundaries I’ve experienced unnecessary stress and anxiety. More recently, I started working on building boundaries as my anxiety and stress levels were rising due to saying yes to everyone. It has not been easy, but saying no and establishing clear boundaries has helped my stress levels come down.
4 Ways I’ve worked on establishing healthy boundaries:
Say no: Easier said than done, right? When someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do, say no. Don’t want to go to a party, dinner, or help your friend move, say no. It may be tough at first, and you may feel guilt, but that is okay. After saying no a few times, you will feel more comfortable, and it may help reduce the anxiety and stress you feel about saying yes all the time.
Take time: We live in an over-connected world- all day your friends are texting you, your boss is calling you, your partner is messaging you on Facebook, and the list goes on. I tend to communicate immediately or right after a message or email has arrived to my phone or inbox, and it is not necessary. If you have a work deadline or family matter, yes, taking the call or responding quickly is most likely necessary, but most messages can wait, and be responded to when 1. You have the time and 2. You have something to say back.
Say yes to you: Make self-care a priority, take yourself out to dinner, watch a few episodes of your favorite show, or write. Whatever it is, make yourself a priority by scheduling it in your calendar and let your partner and kids know you are not available during this time.
Limit time with toxic people: I have a few family members in my life who feel entitled to crossing boundaries and when I say no, they guilt-trip me. I understand not everyone is going to respect your boundaries, at the end of the day your time is valuable. If you are struggling with toxic people, limit the time you spend with them if possible, and continue saying no.
Setting clear, healthy boundaries is necessary for your overall well being, both mental and physical. If you are struggling with setting boundaries in life, reach out to a therapist as they will be able to help you and work through issues along the way.
Written by Amanda Shea.