Each and everyone of us have an obligation to ourselves to ensure we are safe, healthy and happy. During a pandemic these obligations may be even more imperatives as we are isolated from others including help and support. Boundaries are statements of intent which are put in place to protect us from conflicting demands of life. They are like invisible force fields that protect you during tumultuous times and are set strategies or decisions that we make about our own lives. When someone asks us to do something that we are not comfortable with doing, with positive boundaries already previously set it will make it so much easier to say no and this stops us from feeling forced into saying yes or not guilty for saying no.
Here are some example boundaries which you can use or base your own boundaries on, the right to receive professional help, to set your own goals, to decide on our own priorities, to change yourself physically/mentally or spiritually, the right to develop and express your talents, have our boundaries respected, your own personal space, set limits and boundaries, your own personal belongings, your own values, to be able to change your mind or to withdraw consent, to not be responsible for others decisions, own political beliefs, privacy, create your own schedule, your own friendships and relationships, to be listened to respectfully, to choose how you live, to walk away from any relationship, to be treated with dignity and respect, for independence, to make mistakes and to say no without feelings of guilt.
The list of potential boundaries is endless but to help you narrow down your own think about what is morally important to you and write down some boundaries that suit your own lifestyle and moral obligations. Other things to consider when thinking of our own boundaries are lifestyle, family life, schedule, leisure time, work life, and personal development. Three important things to remember when making boundaries are they shouldn’t make you feel guilty, they don’t have to be too big and they can take practice.
Types of boundaries include relationships, time, self-care and money. Relationship boundaries to ensure relationships are mutually supported and beneficial we could set a side time for a date night with a partner or even by choosing to have a smaller group of friends so you can make deeper lasting relationships with few rather than lots of superficial relationships with the many. Time isn’t something any of us can get back, so how about not answering our phones after a certain point in the night unless it’s an emergency or even turning off non-essential notifications on your phone. Examples of self-care boundaries are an exercise routine or even sticking to a ‘getting up routine’ by showering in the morning and getting dressed. Money boundaries are just as important as the next and could be out in place by not using credit unless in an emergency, start saving or even deciding not to lend money to friends.
It’s important to note that these boundaries do not need to be set in stone and can evolve along side the person whom has put them in place, they can be changed or even replaced if needed. If you would like any further advice about setting boundaries in form of a one-to-one counselling session please don’t hesitate in calling us at Therapeutic Counselling on 01209 718246.