Setting boundaries isn’t just something you do for other people.
It’s also important to set boundaries with… well, the most important person in your life.
Setting boundaries for yourself can help enhance the quality of your life, and improve your overall well-being.
It helps you define where you can make more time for the things you love.
The things that light you up.
The things that make you… you.
We’ve talked about why boundaries are a wonderful way to create healthy relationships with others. But what about your relationship with yourself?
Setting boundaries with others is important to be able to communicate our needs to others and let them know how we’d like to be treated. But it’s just as important to set boundaries with ourselves.
This helps you keep track of your own unhealthy behaviors so you can create a better, and happier structure for your life.
Setting personal boundaries is an investment in yourself.
It’s an act of self-care that involves doing something now that will improve your quality of life in the long run— even if it’s not enjoyable in the moment.
Setting boundaries with yourself can be hard. Maybe even harder than setting them with other people. But this is where self-care and self-love come into play — making the decision to hold a boundary with yourself is a loving act of kindness. Because you care about yourself and want to be the best you can be.
There are many areas of life we can choose to set a boundary with ourselves including:
Taking these into consideration setting a boundary for yourself might look like:
The boundaries you set for yourself will reflect your own personal needs and priorities. These boundaries might look different for everyone.
But how do you define where a boundary needs to be set in your life?
If you weren’t taught as a kid how to set boundaries for your health and safety, you might struggle to set them for yourself now that you’re an adult. Setting boundaries for yourself is a way to re-parent yourself to create trust in yourself — that you are looking out for you. This gives you the security and structure that you might not have gotten growing up.
To define where a boundary needs to be set with yourself, acknowledge what in your life is no longer working and what needs to change.
Is there a limit you can set with yourself involving finances? Tricky relationships? Are you spending too much time scrolling through social media? Are you happy with your daily routine? Your physical health? Your emotional health?
As we get caught up living our lives, it can be easy to forget to ask ourselves what we really want in our time here on Earth. Establishing boundaries with yourself is essential to self-care, but it’s hard to set them without knowing what you want.
What do you want? Or, what DON’T you want? Do you want to feel more rested? Less stressed? Do you want to spend less time doing things that make you unhappy?
It can be helpful to visualize what it will look like and how you’ll feel when you’ve set the boundary and followed through with it. What might change? How much better will you feel?
When you can visualize, feel, and connect to the result you’re trying to create, it’ll give you the motivation to see it through.
This practice can be difficult at first, but when you set a boundary and follow through with it — you get to grow. It makes you better. You get to evolve.
It’s important to remember that setting boundaries is a process. Try setting one at a time so you don’t become overwhelmed. Make small and incremental changes if you need to.
When you struggle with enforcing a boundary you’ve set for yourself, give yourself some grace. Being too harsh on yourself can lead to feelings of shame or guilt. This can make you want to give up on the boundary you’ve set altogether. So celebrate the small victories. Acknowledge all the hard work you’ve done. Rejoice in the new life and experiences that you have now established in your life with the practice of boundary setting.
Not only is setting boundaries an excellent way to create more self-trust, love, and confidence in yourself. It’s a practice of validating and meeting your own needs. You get to reclaim your time and energy to concentrate on the things which allow you to feel like… you.
Setting boundaries on a consistent basis will set you free!
In my training as an Occupational Therapist (OT), I had the privilege of working in an inpatient mental health hospital for a few months.
OT is based on the importance of living life to its fullest and evaluating and refining the habits and habitual practices that we entertain.
It was in this clinic that I witnessed the true life-or-death consequences and importance of boundary-setting in people’s lives. I observed patients setting and holding non-negotiable boundaries with themselves. Such as making their bed each morning so that they wouldn’t be tempted to sleep the day away while struggling with severe depression. Or starting their day with healthy food practices so that their blood sugar wouldn’t tank and throw their entire system into a chemical imbalance.
I watched them set boundaries with their family members. I saw them tell their families they were only allowed to visit them if they were supportive and loving — not condescending. I saw them ask for what they needed when they needed it instead of getting upset or angry at one of the nurses on the floor for not reading their minds.
I watched as they made what might have seemed like very small shifts and tweaks. But these seemingly simple boundaries they set for themselves made an enormous difference in their quality of life. It improved their mental health and overall well-being. In each and every one of those patients.
This has had a major impact on my own life.
I now take care to make my own small shifts and tweaks where they’re needed. To enhance my own quality of life, mental health, and overall well-being.
And it’s made all the difference in MY world.
If you’d like a little support while you set boundaries with yourself, book a complimentary clarity call with me here.
Onward and upward!