Setting healthy boundaries with the people around you is your first line of defence. It is first, and foremost, about protecting your well being and creating a healthy life-balance. It is a line drawn in the sand or a fence that represents your personal boundaries that supports all the things make you happy, grounded, and give your life meaning. Becoming familiar with your boundaries by focusing on what you will and won’t accept from others makes it easier to put more energy, and find pleasure, in the things you enjoy.
So, how can you get a fresh start and create boundaries that work for you? Here are our 5 tips for building and maintaining personal boundaries:
Assess your limits
The first step in setting your boundaries is recognizing what your limits are, and what will trigger youWithout identifying where you stand you won’t be able to determine what you can tolerate and accept without feeling uncomfortable. Everyone’s limits are different, but spending some time focusing on your mental, emotional and spiritual state will help you identify them.
Put yourself first
Give yourself permission to put You first! Doing so can help strengthen your boundaries. Making time for the activities you enjoy or simply taking some time for yourself helps emphasize the importance of your feelings. Honouring how you feel and what you do, or want to do, is an important wellbeing cue about what makes us happy, or unhappy.
By putting yourself first you will have the energy and peace of mind necessary to be more present in the time that you do spend with others. It can help make you a better friend, colleague or family member.
Learn to say “no”
At first, it can be tough putting yourself first and staying within your wellbeing boundaries. For many people it’s difficult to say “no,” without feeling guilty, but it’s important to stick to your boundaries. When you are feeling pushed take a moment to communicate that feeling with the other person. No one can read your mind, but expressing how you feel and what you find bothersome (in a respectful way) can make it easier to work together and find an amicable solution.
Setting healthy boundaries is a skill that times time and effort to master. Starting with a small boundary, and assertively communicating it when challenged, will help you build up self-esteem. As you get better at maintaining these smaller limits you can incrementally step up to more challenging boundaries. Take courage and mentally note your successes – they’ll help you feel stronger when you get to tackling those bigger boundaries.
Don’t give up
Like anything new, it’s going to takes time to get the hang of maintaining your boundaries. But don’t give up if the first few times you try to maintain them, they fall through. Pick yourself back up and give it another try tomorrow! The more you practice and work on maintaining those boundaries, the better you will feel.