3 Ways to Start Setting Boundaries
As the summer is winding down, are you feeling rested and recovered or are you simply chugging along and wishing for some more rest time? The summer is great because there is an endless amount of activities to do but it’s also a time when you do have to be aware of your boundaries.
It’s another day, and another friend messages you for plans for the evening during the week or a whole weekend getaway. As much as they all fill your cup, and you look forward to them, are all the plans worth saying “yes” to? Are there some that you should be declining instead?
It’s important to recognize your own needs and wants and if you truly have the capacity for it. This not only goes for the summer months when there are things to do constantly but throughout the year as well and in all places of your life. This can include holiday gatherings, workplace assignments, additional tasks elsewhere, etc. Stand up for yourself and set the healthy boundaries that you need to make your own health a priority — mentally, physically, and emotionally.
How to start setting healthy boundaries?
1. Learn to say “no”
Saying “no” can be one of the hardest words to say when you are custom to always saying “yes”. However, to practice, start small. What is something that you’ve previously agreed to do but would have much rather declined? If your initial gut feeling is to decline, then that should be an indication as well. Practice there if another situation like that arises!
Since it is not always easy to say “no” there are many ways to still get it across in a friendlier manner. Here are some options below:
- “I appreciate the invite but unfortunately, I’ll need to pass on this.”
- “Hey friend, I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to join.”
- “Thanks for asking, but that’s not going to work for me.”
2. Let go of what people think
If you’re always saying “yes” to others because you are afraid of hurting their feelings, it’s time to let that go. We have this belief in our minds that if we say “no” we’re letting others down, but in retrospect, you are only letting yourself and your overall health down. It is time to put yourself first and take the initiative to say “no” to things that you truly do not care for nor have the time or capacity for.
But what will someone say or think if you decline? Everyone will always have an opinion, it’s simply how life works. But, when you no longer allow that opinion to influence your decisions, that is when you can be the most confident in your own choices. This is when these decisions truly become your own.
3. Trust yourself
When you’re working on building healthy habits around food, exercise, and overall tasks and activities in life through journaling it in the Ate app, you build out these healthy habits by listening to your mind and body. When you have a chance to listen to your mind and body, you realize that your body is smart and usually signals for certain things.
Don’t forget to listen to your mind and body when setting boundaries as well. You’ll have an initial gut instinct to either say “yes” or “no” to something — trust it! If this is something that’s been on your mind lately that you truly want to do, then happily say “yes” but if you’re having second thoughts or if it is already causing built-up stress, do not be worried to say “no”.
What else can you do?
One more important tip is to take a few moments to reflect. Take some time to sit down and think about the things that you do want to say “yes” to and those that you would much prefer to say “no” to. When you have a clear idea of what is important it will allow the following decision to be made with little to no hesitation.
Although the word “no” can be powerful towards others, it is equally as powerful towards yourself. A simple “no” can help establish setting the healthy boundaries that you need in your own day-to-day life.