Whether it’s setting boundaries in a relationship, finding a work-life balance, or avoiding bad habits, it is important to create healthy boundaries for your growth and well-being.
Setting boundaries means setting clear intentions. It’s a promise you made to yourself or others that you will or will not do something specific. When you set boundaries, you can nourish your well-being by sustaining your time and energy and protecting your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual space.
Healthy boundary is self-care.
When we think of boundaries, we think of our personal space. Our physical space. Touch. No one has a right to be in our personal space without permission.
But when we think about setting emotional boundaries in relationships or creating mental boundaries to manage work-life balance, it’s a little less straightforward. For example, how do we tell our loved ones — like family and friends — that sometimes we just need some space? Or how do we manage work demands without sacrificing personal time? Maybe you’re guilty of checking emails during lunch breaks. Or worse, responding to emails before bed.
It is important to set boundaries in relationships with others and even with ourselves. This way, we establish healthy habits that become a part of healthy relationships and lifestyles.
Establish boundaries and habits that become part of healthy relationships and lifestyles.
Habits are powerful in influencing our emotional and mental well-being. They are reminders for us to keep our promises. Habits also shape our physical surrounding including our home, work place, and everywhere we spend our time. One way to set healthy boundaries is by keeping healthy habits. For example, set a boundary between work and personal time by promising yourself to not check emails at the dinner table or texting while studying.
The most successful and happiest people manage work and personal activities by dedicating chunks of time for specific activities. Don’t multitask or juggle too much on your plate at once. Block out time for specific tasks like exercise, work, leisure, and even chores. Whether you need to focus on something, spend time with family, watch a movie, or even do laundry, commit to giving your full attention. You’ll find your time to be more enjoyable and productive so you can look forward to enjoying the activity next time and continuing to nurture your relationships, your studies, your projects and goals, your hobbies, and skills.
Setting Personal Boundaries
When it comes to personal relationships, boundaries let us know how to treat each other. They set the standards of how we interact and communicate with each other. How we behave around each other, maintain mutual respect in a relationship, how we agree on what feels safe versus what makes us feel uncomfortable are all defined by personal boundaries. Boundaries help us maintain our individuality even when we are in a relationship.
Without healthy boundaries, a friendship can become a co-dependent by demanding too much of our time. Work becomes overwhelming and a source of anxiety. Resentment brews between family members. Disappointment becomes a major cause for breakup. In the long run, relationships cannot grow without clear personal boundaries, leaving us feeling defeated, exhausted, and unfulfilled.
Creating Your Space
Only you know what types of boundaries you need to feel safe, comfortable, and nurtured. Create a space (physical, mental, and emotional space) where you feel protected. This is the first step in setting successful boundaries. Know your limits. Don’t overexert your efforts, time, and energy. Retreat when you need to slow down.
It’s okay that you don’t do everything for everyone. It’s okay that you are not available to others 24/7.
Be comfortable in the present. That’s the first step. Learn to practice mindfulness.
Whether it is a physical room with photos and pictures that make you feel happy, a place where you can listen to music and acknowledge your emotions, or even an imaginary empty canvas, this space serves as a reminder for you to recenter and find your calm. Learn how to tap into your mental and emotional reservoir. And go there often.
If you feel nurtured and nourished with certain objects or a vision that inspires you, or maybe it’s a place where you keep nostalgic memories, put them in your space. Remember, this space does not have to be a physical space. It can be a mental and emotional space. Visit this space often and go deeper. Find your core, what drives you, what inspires you, what scares you, what bothers you. Get familiar with your space. It’s part of your growth and take all the time you need. This space is yours.