You’re practicing mindfulness. You’re meditating. You’re doing yoga. Or you’re at least planning on going to yoga class. Every step you take towards listening to yourself and acknowledging your right and responsibility to articulate your own needs is significant. And as you proceed, it is important to remember something:
You don’t have to have everything figured out at this very moment to set healthy boundaries for yourself.
It's crucial to establish personal limits at all times of the year, but especially during the Holidays when we can be most vulnerable to feeling like we have to go along with what our families and friends want. Since stress can peak during what should be the most festive and enjoyable times of year, being particularly aware of and vocal about your boundaries will go a long way to help shield you from emotional strain! So what exactly are personal boundaries? Think of them as rules or guidelines you build to determine what you feel are safe and acceptable ways for people to behave towards you, and how you'll respond when someone crosses those lines.
We often hesitate to assert ourselves when we feel insecure, or when we’re taught to be more attentive to the needs, wants, and desires of others than to our own. A pattern of being consistently helpful when others need you can sometimes leave you feeling helpless when you need yourself. Thankfully, redirecting towards a habit of healthy boundaries starts with a simple shift in perception, and, as with most things, it becomes easier with practice!
1. Acknowledge you have a right to your boundaries
2. Determine how you need to shape your relationships around them
3. Define your limits
4. Communicate those limits clearly, calmly, and specifically
5. Reassess and reassert those boundaries when needed
Maintaining healthy boundaries also becomes easier when you continue to make self-care a daily priority. Not only will this benefit your own well-being, but your relationships will become stronger as a result. When you’re able to see the shape of your limits, you have a greater capacity to see and respect the limits of others.