Thoughts on setting boundaries.

7.12.17

I'm taking part in the Blurt Foundation's December photo challenge (#blurtmerrycalmness if you're interested) and Monday's word was "boundaries". I'm enjoying this photo challenge immensely after a few days in 1) because I'm poorly-sick at the moment and it gives me a little project to focus on and 2) because it has really got me thinking about different topics and how they impact on our mental health/physical health.

Setting boundaries is something I have been pretty hopeless with up until recently when I realised I needed to put some things into place to save my sanity. If you are anything like me (INFJ personality type, wants to be all things to all people) then you will use a lot of your energy thinking about other people's problems and trying to fix them. I have been on the other end of the phone for people at all times of the day and night, giving up sleep and rest in a desperate attempt to be there for everyone as much as possible. I have taken criticism from people very close to me and absorbed those comments as if they were true, failing to stick up for myself for fear of causing arguments. I have let my self-care routine slip as a result of feeling weighed down by a lack of support and judgement from others.


Writing the Instagram post got me thinking about ways that I can set clearer boundaries to live a happier life. Here are a few thoughts on healthy boundaries. I'd love to know what yours are too! Leave me a comment :) 

* spend your precious free time with friends and family who are supportive and encouraging

* reduce time spent with toxic people who criticise you, judge your life choices or make you feel bad for being 'you'

* don't feel guilty for prioritising doing things that make you happy even if others can't understand why you do them

* spend time alone to reset, doing whatever the hell you want to do - nap, meditate, draw, colour in, listen to music, cuddle your dog, have a bath, paint your nails, browse ASOS for things you can't afford, drink tea and eat cake, or just sit and 'be' for a bit 

* build up good communication with everyone in your life to avoid misunderstandings i.e. if you have a partner but you want some time to yourself, explain this to them and why it will make you feel better, instead of them wondering why you've gone quiet or why you don't seem to be enjoying their company (this is major one for me; after a stint of time with someone I need to be alone to reset myself!) 

* aim to stop absorbing the feelings and thoughts of others; listen to their problems without feeling responsible for fixing them single-handedly

* have a solid self-care routine which is non-negotiable; if someone needs you during this time then tough, they have to wait (unless it's life or death, obv!)

* write down what stresses you out the most and build boundaries around that - for me one thing that bothered me was late night txts that would weigh on my mind and cause me sleepless nights so I began to switch my phone off well before bedtime in an attempt to go "offline" and have a good nights sleep