How to Set Your Own Damn Boundaries & Practice Self Care
I am laughing as I look at the title of this blog. Why? Because in the past, I have done a horrible job of this. I have been the one to say yes to everything or to go along with what someone else wants when it’s not what I want, because I was too afraid of what the other person or people would think of me. However, I have learned that this mentality only hurts me in the end.
Here are some examples of how I have set boundaries for myself in the last few months:
1. I prioritize my tasks each day and only complete the most important ones. When the day is over, if there is something I haven’t gotten to that is not pressing, it can wait until tomorrow - or next week. I am SO done stressing myself out and losing sleep over not responding to all of my e-mails (just look at my in-boxes and you’ll see what I’m talking about….), or beating myself up over not responding to someone’s question immediately. Those OCD over-achieving days are over!
2. One of my priorities is practicing self care and doing what feels right to fulfill my needs at the time. Whether it’s yoga or running, taking some deep breaths, or even pouring myself into my work or taking care of my kids, I have been very in tune to what my body is telling me. If I don’t, everything just feels off. This is so important my friends.
3. I am not as present on social media. I have very mixed feelings about this. While it is refreshing to have more intimate in person conversations and meetings, as well as being able to accomplish more things on my to-do list because I’m not sitting around checking Facebook all day, I do miss some of the interaction and I feel very out of touch with some of my long distance friends. The good news is, if people really need to get a hold of me or tell me something, there are multiple ways that they can do so!
4. I also took an e-mail break (hence my aforementioned e-mail pile-up) over the holidays. In fact, one of my friends from Everytown had to text me after I hadn’t responded to an e-mail after 4 days. This was very unusual for me, but of course she understood and even told me that there was no need to apologize. People understand your need for boundaries and self care! Keep in mind we are our own biggest enemies. Other people tend to be much more gentle with our feelings and even our choices.
5. I stand up for myself. Yesterday when the film crew hired by Everytown came out to my house to be with me for the entire day and interview me for our Moments that Survive website, I made it very clear that I would need an hour to myself for my yoga practice. No ifs, ands, or buts. My yoga practice grounds me and keeps me from falling apart at the seams. I make sure that I incorporate yoga and running into my weekly routines. If I have to turn down a meeting, I will do so. My mental health is more important.
Basically, the lesson here is that what YOU want needs to be the highest priority. Now this isn’t to say that you get to be a selfish asshole, but what it DOES mean is that you don’t take shit from anyone. What other people think about you is none of your business, and vice versa.
I hope you can take this knowledge and apply it to yourselves. Make sure you are taking time to yourself, to process your feelings, and to do what feels good for you. Namaste, my friends.
Pic by AJ Kahn