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Setting Boundaries

Setting Boundaries

Say it with us: setting boundaries is self-care. If you often make yourself small, bend to others’ needs, and put yourself last, you should probably evaluate your boundaries. 

Why it’s important. Setting boundaries is not selfish. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It can be extremely beneficial to building strong relationships. When you communicate your boundaries, you not only strengthen the bond, but you can avoid some of the common pitfalls of resentment and anger that occur when you don’t communicate your needs. Boundaries can even make you a happier person because they allow you to look inward, evaluating your own desires and goals. And, of course, they are an excellent tool for stress-management. You can mitigate stress-inducing situations by clearly defining your comfort levels.

Starting small. Like most self-care routines, the key is to start small, be kind to yourself, and – most importantly – practice. Here are just a few ideas of how you can start to set boundaries:

  • Do you value alone time? Make it known that you set your phone to ‘do not disturb’ at 8:00 pm <or whatever time you choose> and people will learn that you are not, in fact, available at their whim. 
  • Are you drowning at work? Next time you get a new assignment, ask your boss to help you prioritize all of the projects on your plate. Let them tell you which they would like you to focus on. This will reinforce your commitment while tacitly communicating that not everything is a crisis.
  • Have a friend who dumps her toxic sh!t on you? It’s ok to tell them, with love, what your boundaries are. You can still be there for her but you can do so in a way that doesn’t drain your energy or make you frustrated. 
  • Are you overwhelmed by the state of the world? Be informed and be engaged, but don’t be overwhelmed. You may need to set limits on how and where you consume news. And remember, a great boundary that you can strike today: unfollow, unsubscribe, unplug. Pro tip: pick one day a month, like the first Wednesday of every month, and go through all of your subscriptions and social media accounts and clear out any content that is not healthy <however you define that> for you.
Letting go of the guilt. Most women are taught to be givers, nurturers. It is drilled into us from a very early age that we are meant to be quiet, small, and be in service to others. Period. So, it is no surprise that when we finally start to establish boundaries, we feel guilty. It can literally feel unnatural. Give yourself grace and allow yourself the time and practice it takes to establish boundaries. It may be awkward at first but eventually you will see the benefits to everyone in your life.

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b.minton is redefining realistic self-care for busy women. Shop for beautifully curated and ethically sourced self-care gift boxes at bminton.com and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @shopbminton.

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