To best respect ourselves and our own promises; boundaries should be something we allow ourselves to make. Correction, we should REQUIRE ourselves to make.
We think of boundaries as something we are not doing for others. In reality they should happen so we can show up better for others. Are you someone who says “Yes” all the time? Do you apologize for not being available for others when you can’t even be there for yourself? Are you waking up after a full night’s rest and wonder how you are still so tired?
Do you give more then you take? Are you giving up your time, your voice, your attention, or your energy too freely?
When I have given too much, it hits hard. When my primary focus is others, when my primary focus is centered around “doing” instead of “being” my boundaries are dropped. When I say this I mean that I have become the “Yes” person, I show up for others hard, I listen to them, and do things for them.
Setting these boundaries is incredibly important, especially right now. Having the technology at our fingertips to call and/or text anyone at the drop of a dime can make us feel as though we have lost the ability to say “No” or create the boundary stating “I’m not available”.
A tool from my toolbox is to determine what you need in order to be the best version of you; this way you can continue to show up for others. These are “non-negotiables” (okay they might be negotiable ONCE in a while because again we are human not perfect robots).
ANYWAYS, some of my non-negotiables are:
- Moving my body – Whether this is a workout, running, walking, dancing, yoga, or playing with my dogs. Moving my body in some way helps me show up best in my life.
- Lessen screen time – Set “business hours” for yourself, I shut down all social media from 8-9pm at night just before bed. I also utilize the app timer on my iPhone so that I only spend a certain amount of time during the day on social media apps. This is not perfect but it is helpful so that I don’t just scroll through Instagram or Facebook. This screen time also includes TV, I don’t watch TV past 8pm if I can help it. Again, I’m human and sometimes I have the urge to binge watch a show.
- Don’t be afraid to say “I’m not available” – Honor time that you’ve committed for yourself, and the time you set up to spend with others. Those in my immediate circle for instance know when it is date night and unless emergent respect that space I have created. Our phone’s also have these cool options to be silenced or put on Do Not Disturb (at least iPhone’s), USE THESE TOOLS.
- Fuel my body – I once had a girl I worked with make a comment about how routine I am with what I eat. It may change on the season but I almost always eat very similar snacks and meals. Fueling my body with fruits and veggies helps me have a better day. Eating junk food and drinking tend to set me up for personal failure.
- KEEP your business hours – When I worked a corporate job that I could work at any time and anywhere, if I knew I didn’t need it, I would leave my laptop at work. Some of my colleagues gave me a wide-eye stare. I truly believe in a work-life balance and refused to even allow the temptation to “work more” if only to prove I could.
- I know during a pandemic Number 5 above can be incredibly hard as so many jobs are now remote. Can you create a space that is “work” and shut the door on it? (figuratively or literally)
These are simple non-negotiables that I have always felt silly about since I began truly implementing them in the last year. They are the best gifts I have given myself, people may not understand them but it is how I can show up as my best self every day.
This post itself is a boundary I am creating to whomever may read it. It’s a boundary because I’m making you aware of the ones I’ve created. Vocalizing our boundaries is also a key in respecting ourselves and the space we are trying to create.
Through this practice I have become more aware, cognisant and respectful of others. I invite you to ponder any boundaries you’ve created for yourself to better show up for what you need in the moment.