In my post, 5 steps to align with your body, mind and soul, step 4 is to set clear boundaries. I started writing this post about boundaries before. Before we retreated into the safety of our homes; before our calendars emptied of activities, and before physical distancing. We’re being given the opportunity to examine our own boundaries during this time.
Setting clear boundaries is always relevant and important to our own physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. Boundaries provide guiding principles for how we want to interact with others to foster healthy, beneficial relationships, and they provide expectations so others can understand how we want to interact in the world.
And now we’re being given the opportunity to practice.
Physical boundaries are rather easy to set right now. No one is encroaching on your space while you stand in line at a checkout. Your in-laws or your kid’s friends can’t just pop by unannounced. This is an obvious and easy boundary right now, around physicality. There’s also setting boundaries on how you want and feel comfortable being touched by others. Maybe you’re not a hugger. You are allowed to express that you would rather shake hands than hug.
Allow yourself time and permission to set boundaries that you need. If you’re a people pleaser, know that what you want and need matters. Consider how you feel when you’re saying yes to something or someone’s treatment of you – taking on extra project and work that means you’re missing your child’s activity, taking the brunt of someone’s anger as they yell at, threaten or bully, or if someone subtly manipulates you into doing what they want. Are you pushing down resentment, anger, fear, guilt, obligation, and feeling disrespected? Constantly saying yes to things that drain your energy will burn you out.
When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. Brené Brown
When you start to put up boundaries, you may experience resistance from some people in your life who aren’t used to you saying, “No, that’s not how I want to engage with you.” They’re not used to you being open and honest about how you feel about your interactions. Stand firm in your power – keep practicing. Love yourself enough to stick to your boundaries.
Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. Brené Brown
Having clear boundaries for yourself, garners respect and let’s family, friends and colleagues know how to interact with you, respectfully. Now is the time to stretch that boundary muscle and be more true to you than ever before.