Boundaries. This is something I give a lot of thought to, something I’ve quite struggled with in the past—in relationships, in friendships, with family, and at work. It’s led me to feel drained and burnt out many times. I know setting boundaries with those we care about can be tough, in fear of letting them down, but if we don’t it can lead to complete exhaustion and even resentment.
Many of us struggle with setting boundaries.
I can’t count how many times I’ve had this conversation with friends, family members, colleagues, and co-workers. It’s almost as if we’re bred and conditioned to take on everything at once. We also naturally want to help others, but learning not to do it at the expense of ourselves and our health is important.
Setting personal boundaries is a very important aspect of taking care of ourselves and building strong, healthy relationships with others. Boundaries are also key in keeping our lives balanced and keeping ourselves strong, physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you eat junk food too many days in a row, your body feels it. If you work too much overtime consistently, eventually you will burn out. If you are giving so much to everyone else, when and what are you giving to yourself?
Learn what limits you need to set (and stick to) in order to keep yourself balanced, healthy, and happy. I have learned that before I commit to something, I stop and I ask myself is this within my boundaries? Don’t be afraid to ask your night-owl friend not to text you after eleven because you have to get up early in the morning. Be honest with your boss if you’ve reached the total workload you can handle. Need some alone time? Then rain check on girls’ night out. Be honest with your partner if it bothers you that he teases you in front of your parents. In the end, being able to communicate your boundaries honestly will earn you respect, make you feel stronger, and will keep things more level for you—you’ll be happier you did!
7 Tips for Setting Simple Boundaries:
- Make space for alone Time – Schedule alone time for yourself to recoup from busyness. It’s important to have time to relax and unwind. And to have time to reflect on yourself and what’s going on in your life.
- Practice mindful eating and setting limits for yourself – Only eat until you are full. Slow down. And make sure to set limits on how much junk food and sweets you are putting into your body. I’m not saying you must give it all up but make sure to set those boundaries.
- Minimize your exposure to negativity – Create space between yourself and negativity. If you must be around negative people do what you can to limit your time together. Constant exposure to negativity is very tiring. This includes setting boundaries for how much negative content you consume through media outlets like tv or social media.
- Make journaling a habit – Taking this time to reflect in your journal will help you identify where and what boundaries you may need to put in place in your life.
- Be honest with your feelings – Be honest and upfront about your feelings in relationships and friendships. If you are feeling hurt, then be open about it and tell them how you feel in a respectful manner.
- Keep workloads manageable – Don’t take on more than you can handle. Your boss will appreciate you being upfront over not having projects completed on time. This goes for at-home projects too. Be realistic about what you can complete in a set amount of time.
- Be realistic and open to compromise when necessary – Compromise when necessary but expect compromise in return. Sometimes things need to happen, and you need to make time for them. But set up realistic expectations to make it work.
I know firsthand that setting boundaries can feel a bit uncomfortable at first, especially when you’re establishing new ones but I promise that in the long run, it will be worth it. Boundaries will improve your life and strengthen your personal and work relationships. And to those that don’t respect your boundaries well then there may be some deeper evaluating that may need to happen there, I’ll just leave that one (speaking from my own experience y’all).