Feeling burnt out and overworked? Saying “Yes” to the people in our lives is often easier than saying the alternative. However, most of us regret saying “Yes” when it comes time to act on our affirmative answers. These commitments normally snowball until our schedules are out of control, our health is suffering because of it, and we need to cancel some plans. If this has happened to you, you’re probably wondering how to create boundaries without losing your sense of loyalty, trustworthiness, or helpfulness. In this article, we’ll set out some practical tips for you and explain three core types of boundaries.
Practical Tips for Creating Boundaries: Practice Mindfulness
In what areas are you taking on more than you should? Be mindful and recognize where your boundaries are. Consider this: Get a blank piece of paper and begin splitting up your page into five quadrants: mental, emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual. When this is complete, go through each quadrant and think about how much energy you are spending in each.
Read over your quadrants, then add your core relationships. For example: Under the emotional quadrant, you could write about your spouse, friends, kids, and co-workers. You can even add strangers you interact with, such as the barista at your local coffee shop. The idea here is to gain awareness of your relationships and the underlying boundary that’s being activated with each one. To help you get started, let’s talked about three core types of boundaries.
3 Core Types of Boundaries
Recognizing which type of boundary you gravitate toward will be instrumental in helping you make necessary lifestyle changes. So the question is: Do you make healthy, porous, or rigid boundaries? Let’s look at some examples.
- If you set healthy boundaries: You know your personal needs and wants well enough to communicate them gracefully to others. In doing so, you can say “no” without justifying yourself.
- If you set porous boundaries: You find it difficult to say “no” to others and overshare personal information.
- If you set rigid boundaries: Intimacy feels overwhelming to you and you keep others at a distance. This is easier for you than telling people how you really feel.
Now that you’re figuring out what kind of boundaries you normally set, we can talk about how to put some of this into practice.
Practicing Your Findings
As you finish practicing mindfulness and head back to your day-to-day activities, be aware of how you feel during interactions with other people. Once you can recognize how you feel in the present moment, you can begin understanding what your needs are. This paves the way for you to communicate your needs and wants in a loving, healthy way in the moment, rather than responding reactively. No more knee-jerk reactions that result in a premature “yes” or “no”!
Lastly, when you wake up in the morning, set your intentions for the day. Ask yourself: “How do I want to feel today? What are my needs, and how can I meet them? What do I need to say ‘no’ to? Where do I need to express myself better?” Once you have answered these questions, make the choice to respect yourself and others as you pursue those needs.
If relationships are leaving you stressed and your overall health is suffering from it, contact our office today. We take a holistic approach to mental, physical, and emotional health so you can be empowered to deal with everything life throws at you.