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Women's Health Week Special: Setting Healthy Boundaries for Self Care

Women's Health Week Special: Setting Healthy Boundaries for Self Care

Written by
Lauren Mason
Sep 7, 2021

As women relationships are often at the centre of our lives. Often, we naturally gravitate towards our female friends and family to talk about the ups and downs of life, the significant transitions and the barriers that inevitably pop up from time to time. Talking and connecting is part of our methodology, an essential part of forming healthy and important connections. But what if we told you being hyper connected sometimes isn’t good for your health?

The term “boundaries” is thrown around a lot in the media these days. We hear it in the context of commands or criticism: “respect my boundaries”, or “he’s got no boundaries”, etc. But let's be clear, we are not discussing geographical boundaries. We are talking here about individual boundaries, which can be encompassed in a mental, emotional, and physical form.

What are boundaries?

Consider boundaries as the limits of what you deem acceptable behaviour towards yourself or others. That is, when we say “you just crossed a line” we mean someone's behaviour has gone from the type which doesn’t cause emotional harm to that which causes emotional harm.  This explains why boundaries are important, especially in relationships. When establishing the terms of our emotional wellbeing, we ensure that no member of the relationship emotionally suffers. At a deeper level, by compromising our boundaries we create a toxic relationship, where responsibility and power are not shared well.

As women we are often talkers and tend to reach out to others when in need of clarity on an important issue or decision. Not as often do we tend to sit in our own space to assess our true feelings about what the right choice is for us, as opposed to gathering the opinions and facts from others, which can inevitably influence the direction in which we take our lives.

Setting healthy boundaries are the cornerstone for living a balanced life. As we all know time is a precious commodity these days and allocating yourself adequate space for rest and self-care is not always high on the priority list. Often as women connecting with our friends and family is usually towards the top of the to do list, yet when we become overwhelmed and exhausted the obligation to attend yet another dinner during a busy work week can prove too much. Additionally, sometimes the important people in our lives overstep the mark, evading our boundaries and overstaying their welcome physically and figuratively.

So why should we set clear boundaries?

Setting boundaries gives you the space and time to make your own choices and spend your life doing what is important to you. Too many times as women we choose to attend events when really, we would rather be chilling out with our cat/ partner/ family or a simple TV series. We all have the FOMO feeling from time to time. But it is important to recognise when you are physically exhausted or mentally spent (or both) and to make the right choice for you, which could involve saying no to an invite without fear of missing out or damaging a relationship.

Setting boundaries are important for our mental health and wellbeing. Living in the frantic world that we do, setting clear boundaries with social media and technology is essential to maintaining a healthy mind and body. In our hyperconnected world (which brings many benefits to our lives), we must also consider the negative impact that spending too much time on screens can do to our mindset. Many social commentators have commented on the negative impact that social media can have on a person’s body image via episodes of “comparisonitis”. Comparing to others is very human, however can be the “thief of joy” as Theodore Roosevelt once said. Some people like to put down their phone after a certain time at night. Others make their social network aware that they do not answer phone calls, messages, or emails at certain time frames of the day. By implementing consistent boundaries around technology use can help you feel more connected and in the moment. Boundaries clarify individuals in a relationship so that everyone involved can enjoy rights and agency; they are individuals with equal power. So how can we set boundaries to live a happier, more fulfilling life?

Three ways to create boundaries

Boundaries determine who we are and what we want. If our boundaries have been crossed, we most likely have compromised on what we want. The blindingly obvious result is that when we do not set worthwhile boundaries, we can cause ourselves “stress, financial burdens, wasted time, and relationship issues” to name a few examples. How do we overcome this issue? There are three ways below:

1. Extract the difference between what you say and what you mean

We try to conceal our true feelings because we are scared of the way we think the rest of the world will react. As we do so, we forget that nearly everyone is too busy to care, and those who matter care about what you want. Get clear on what your boundaries are and start small. Set a boundary with a trusted friend or relative who you can trust will likely continue to accept and love you either way. Taking a small risk is easier than tackling the scarier options in your life.

2. Thank your friends and family when they set their own boundaries

Celebrate the establishment of boundaries. When you set and follow your own, you will understand the importance of your friends and families boundaries.

3. Consider how your life will be different

Think of how much richer your days will be following what you want. This time on earth is not a dress rehearsal! We must try not to expend what time we have abiding by the whims of those around us. We must do what we want (within reason), assisting our family and community to that end. Never lose sight of where you want to go in life and what you truly want.

Women's Health Week Special: Setting Healthy Boundaries for Self Care

September 7, 2021

As women relationships are often at the centre of our lives. Often, we naturally gravitate towards our female friends and family to talk about the ups and downs of life, the significant transitions and the barriers that inevitably pop up from time to time. Talking and connecting is part of our methodology, an essential part of forming healthy and important connections. But what if we told you being hyper connected sometimes isn’t good for your health?

The term “boundaries” is thrown around a lot in the media these days. We hear it in the context of commands or criticism: “respect my boundaries”, or “he’s got no boundaries”, etc. But let's be clear, we are not discussing geographical boundaries. We are talking here about individual boundaries, which can be encompassed in a mental, emotional, and physical form.

What are boundaries?

Consider boundaries as the limits of what you deem acceptable behaviour towards yourself or others. That is, when we say “you just crossed a line” we mean someone's behaviour has gone from the type which doesn’t cause emotional harm to that which causes emotional harm.  This explains why boundaries are important, especially in relationships. When establishing the terms of our emotional wellbeing, we ensure that no member of the relationship emotionally suffers. At a deeper level, by compromising our boundaries we create a toxic relationship, where responsibility and power are not shared well.

As women we are often talkers and tend to reach out to others when in need of clarity on an important issue or decision. Not as often do we tend to sit in our own space to assess our true feelings about what the right choice is for us, as opposed to gathering the opinions and facts from others, which can inevitably influence the direction in which we take our lives.

Setting healthy boundaries are the cornerstone for living a balanced life. As we all know time is a precious commodity these days and allocating yourself adequate space for rest and self-care is not always high on the priority list. Often as women connecting with our friends and family is usually towards the top of the to do list, yet when we become overwhelmed and exhausted the obligation to attend yet another dinner during a busy work week can prove too much. Additionally, sometimes the important people in our lives overstep the mark, evading our boundaries and overstaying their welcome physically and figuratively.

So why should we set clear boundaries?

Setting boundaries gives you the space and time to make your own choices and spend your life doing what is important to you. Too many times as women we choose to attend events when really, we would rather be chilling out with our cat/ partner/ family or a simple TV series. We all have the FOMO feeling from time to time. But it is important to recognise when you are physically exhausted or mentally spent (or both) and to make the right choice for you, which could involve saying no to an invite without fear of missing out or damaging a relationship.

Setting boundaries are important for our mental health and wellbeing. Living in the frantic world that we do, setting clear boundaries with social media and technology is essential to maintaining a healthy mind and body. In our hyperconnected world (which brings many benefits to our lives), we must also consider the negative impact that spending too much time on screens can do to our mindset. Many social commentators have commented on the negative impact that social media can have on a person’s body image via episodes of “comparisonitis”. Comparing to others is very human, however can be the “thief of joy” as Theodore Roosevelt once said. Some people like to put down their phone after a certain time at night. Others make their social network aware that they do not answer phone calls, messages, or emails at certain time frames of the day. By implementing consistent boundaries around technology use can help you feel more connected and in the moment. Boundaries clarify individuals in a relationship so that everyone involved can enjoy rights and agency; they are individuals with equal power. So how can we set boundaries to live a happier, more fulfilling life?

Three ways to create boundaries

Boundaries determine who we are and what we want. If our boundaries have been crossed, we most likely have compromised on what we want. The blindingly obvious result is that when we do not set worthwhile boundaries, we can cause ourselves “stress, financial burdens, wasted time, and relationship issues” to name a few examples. How do we overcome this issue? There are three ways below:

1. Extract the difference between what you say and what you mean

We try to conceal our true feelings because we are scared of the way we think the rest of the world will react. As we do so, we forget that nearly everyone is too busy to care, and those who matter care about what you want. Get clear on what your boundaries are and start small. Set a boundary with a trusted friend or relative who you can trust will likely continue to accept and love you either way. Taking a small risk is easier than tackling the scarier options in your life.

2. Thank your friends and family when they set their own boundaries

Celebrate the establishment of boundaries. When you set and follow your own, you will understand the importance of your friends and families boundaries.

3. Consider how your life will be different

Think of how much richer your days will be following what you want. This time on earth is not a dress rehearsal! We must try not to expend what time we have abiding by the whims of those around us. We must do what we want (within reason), assisting our family and community to that end. Never lose sight of where you want to go in life and what you truly want.