The Art of Good Boundaries
Having good boundaries is a profoundly important aspect of self-care. It is essential to prioritize your own physical, mental, and emotional good health right alongside that of others. It is essential to be able to say no sometimes. It’s not selfish to protect your own best functioning. You don’t need to give and give until there is nothing left of yourself to be helpful and valuable to others. You can find, instead, a sustainable level of giving. A level that leaves you healthy and ready for your next adventure. It is okay if people don’t always understand why you draw your lines where you do, especially if you have a chronic illness. Find what’s right for you, and protect it. This challenge offers a chance to build habits that support your mental, emotional, and physical health!
I said no to something that would have been bad for me
Today I considered my health and happiness equally important to that of the people around me.
Check in with yourself. Are there any areas in your life where you’re caught in a pattern of saying yes to things that are bad for you because you’re taking responsibility for someone else’s feelings, worried that they’ll be angry if you say no, or tying your value as a person exclusively to what you can produce or contribute? (If you find these patterns, stay aware of them this month. Consider their impact on you. Think about whether you want to make changes. Building good boundaries is a difficult journey, and it makes sense to line up support before you get started, maybe even from a therapist. You can expect pushback from the people around you when you make changes, since they’re used to relying on you overdoing it.)
Choose to say yes. (Having good boundaries doesn’t mean you can never go ‘above and beyond’, even when it’s tough in the short term. As long as you have a plan for self-care afterwards, it’s okay to make some sacrifices for other people or for future rewards! Just be clear that it’s a choice, and take responsibility for the consequences. Be kind to others, and also be kind to yourself.)
I tend to have good boundaries with regards to my health and wellness–a lot of times, the biggest pushback I get when setting limits is from my 8yo… and, well. She’s 8. This seemed like a very valuable challenge for the Guild, though, and some great feedback was posted in our guild chat. Also, it was nice for me to have a reminder to take care while I was on vacation at the beach. The family members I was vacationing with were so respectful of my limitations and willing to pitch in and help make sure my kiddo’s vacation experience didn’t suffer for it, it was a true joy.