Setting Healthy Boundaries & Achieving a Balanced Life

'You cannot pour from an empty cup'

This is such a powerful saying that I often ponder on and is definitely one we should be taking to heart, especially at this difficult time where everyone is struggling to cope with COVID related anxiety etc.

But what does it mean?

Have you ever come across a photo on social media that just speaks to you? I recently stumbled upon one that really hit home for me. 

 

It basically said that if we keep giving and giving without taking care of ourselves, we'll end up burning out. And let me tell you, I've been there. I've struggled with burnout for years and it eventually led to a breakdown. 

 

If you're like me, someone with a big heart who loves to help others, please remember to take care of yourself too! It's not always easy for me to prioritise self-care, and sometimes I don't realise I've gone too far until the stress and anxiety start creeping in. 

 

I tend to take on too much, thinking I can handle it all. But it's important to remember that we need to encourage others to take responsibility for their own well-being, rather than relying solely on us to solve their problems. 

 

It's a lesson I'm still learning myself. Finding a healthy balance with others and with ourselves can be a challenge. So today, I thought we could explore some ways to work on our balancing skills together! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject too. 

 

Let's support each other in finding that sweet spot of giving and self-care.

When it comes to setting boundaries with others, it can be a bit tricky to actually put them into practice, right? I totally get it! 

 

Here are a few boundaries that I find important and relevant to my life, but of course, there are so many more that might be relevant to you too. 

 

As you start this process, it's totally normal to feel a little guilty or worried about how people will react. But trust me, with time, it gets easier.

 

Things to remember: - 

 

  • You're not a terrible person for telling others to give you space.
  • It's totally okay to say no. 
  • You are absolutely enough just the way you are. 
  • It's okay to distance yourself from situations or people that bring negativity into your life. 
  • Just take it one step at a time, and remember that your feelings and needs are important too. 

 

You've got this!

Setting Boundaries With Other People

In this high paced, technological world we seem to think that we can get hold of people at a moment's notice. This has lead to the idea that we need to keep on top of our calls, emails and texts at all times.

 

Of course, in terms of our working day this might be true but when talking about our personal lives why are we pushing ourselves so hard to deal with the demands of others? Answering emails and text messages when you are able to, rather than when others demand it, can be a hard lesson to learn.

We've been conditioned to think that we should always be available to the needs of others but how often do we apply the same to our own needs??
 

It is important that you go at YOUR pace, not that of others. Those people who know you best will understand, those who don't aren't usually people you want or need in your life.

 

I personally struggle with phone calls, finding them draining and overwhelming. So, I've started setting boundaries by limiting some of my interactions to text messages only. 

This way, I can respond when I have the time and energy to do so, whether it's later that day or a few days later. At first, I felt guilty about it, but I've come to realise that it's important to prioritize my own well-being. 

 

How do you think you could set boundaries with the people in your life to make sure you're taking care of yourself too? Let's chat about it!
 

Setting Boundaries With Ourselves

So, full disclosure - I've been struggling a bit to get this post ready for you (sorry it's a week late!). It's been a bit of a rollercoaster of anxiety for me this past week. 

 

But you know what? I've decided to cut myself some slack and remind myself that this post will be ready when it's ready. It's all about setting boundaries and being kind to ourselves, right? 

I used to think that taking a break or giving myself some leeway meant I was being lazy, but I've come to realise that's just a toxic mindset that I've been working hard to shake off. 

 

Setting boundaries can look different for everyone, whether it's finding that work-life balance or just allowing ourselves a breather when we need it. 

I'm still figuring this all out during lockdown. I've got this weekly calendar printout that I'm using to structure my day, but it's definitely a work in progress. 

Being cooped up at home has me glued to my laptop a lot, and sometimes I feel like the days slip by without me doing anything productive. That old office work ethic is hard to shake, you know? 

 

But it's important not to beat ourselves up too much, especially with everything going on right now. Scheduling breaks is key, so I've made sure to incorporate things into my day that keep me feeling good both physically and mentally. There are plenty of ways to make the most of our breaks or downtime. 

Some ways might not be so great for us, but with a little tweaking, we can turn them into positive experiences. 

 

Let's chat about a few not-so-great ways we might spend our time, and then brainstorm some ways to flip them into positive moments.

Negative:

So, who else has found themselves getting lost in a Netflix series during lockdown? 

I swear, I always tell myself I'll just watch one episode and then suddenly it's midnight and I've binged the whole thing! It's just too easy to get sucked in, right? 

 

And don't even get me started on aimlessly scrolling through social media. 

I mean, we all love a good scroll, but sometimes I look up and realize I've wasted a whole hour just mindlessly scrolling. It's crazy how time flies when you're online! 

 

I've also been struggling with my sleep patterns lately. 

I blame it on my late-night TV marathons - it's hard to resist! But then I end up staying up way too late, and it messes up my whole routine. It's definitely a cycle that needs breaking, for sure. 

 

Plus, with all this time spent at home, it's easy to just plop down on the sofa and not move much.

I mean, I'm guilty of getting so wrapped up in what I'm doing that I forget to even stretch my legs. Especially now, with the days getting shorter and colder, it's extra tempting to just hunker down under a blanket and not budge. 

So here I am, typing this while cozied up on the sofa, feeling the sleepiness creeping in. Let's all try to break these habits together, shall we? We got this! 😊

Positive

Let's chat about some ways to make your day a little more enjoyable and productive. 

 

First off, instead of binge-watching TV shows, why not schedule some time in your day to catch up on your favorites? 

I like to use my lunch break to unwind and watch just one episode, giving my brain a little break before diving back into work. Choose shows that are positive and constructive, like history or art documentaries, so you're actively learning while you relax. 

 

Next up, social media. 

I use it to connect with people and promote my work, but it's easy to get distracted. Turning off notifications and setting specific times to check in can help you stay on track and avoid wasting time scrolling aimlessly. 

 

Getting into a routine with your sleep schedule can also make a big difference. I've been experimenting with different bedtime rituals, like a relaxing body scan meditation before sleep and a gentle wake-up routine in the morning. It helps me start the day off on the right foot and avoid feeling like a zombie for the first few hours. 

 

Exercise is a must for me, and I try to get outside for a walk every day. I also make time for stretching and yoga to keep my body feeling good. Mixing up your routine can keep things interesting and prevent exercise from feeling like a chore. 

 

Don't forget to make time for your hobbies and interests, too. Whether it's crafting, learning a new skill, or just doing something you love, carving out a few minutes in your day can boost your creativity and overall mood. Maybe try fitting it in during small pockets of time throughout the day, like doodling while you cook dinner. It's all about finding ways to be creative with your time and make the most of each day. 

So go ahead, schedule in some time for yourself and see how it can make a positive difference in your daily routine.

 

One tip that I personally love is using my phone to set alarms throughout the day. 

It really helps me stay on track with my breaks and exercise. 

I know it might seem a bit strict, but it's what works for me to make sure I get things done! 

I hope this blog post has given you some ideas on how to make your life work for YOU, instead of just giving all your time to others. 

It's important to set boundaries and structure to keep your sanity and have some time for yourself. 

 

If you're interested, I've put together a Pinterest folder with some tips on setting boundaries. Feel free to check it out! I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, so please leave a comment on the blog or on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Let's chat!

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