Why Setting Healthy Boundaries is the Cornerstone of Self-CareMay 25, 2022
Why is it that setting and sticking to a self-care plan is challenging and elusive for many women?
Make no mistake, too many women feel guilty about taking time for self-care.
Newsflash: it is not selfish to take the time to practice self-care, instead it is self-nourishing and essential.
Setting healthy boundaries is a game-changer!
By nature, women are givers and caregivers, and as a result, they often overcommit and take on far too much – for many, it’s all in a day’s work. Why do you self-abandon and skip self-care? You can’t give from an empty cup.
If you’re saying YES more often than you should, and feeling overcommitted and stressed because of it, what can you begin to say NO to?
You deserve better, so you can be the best version of yourself. Have you found yourself saying things like:
- There is not enough time in the day – I’m too busy with work, kids, schools, husband, etc.
- I have to pick up the kids from school, sports, practice, etc.
- I volunteered for a work project; there’s no way out.
- Work is so crazy busy right now – I’m on overdrive.
Never underestimate the importance of self-care and how it can benefit your life.
Healthy Boundaries and Self-Esteem
It should come as no surprise that healthy boundaries and self-esteem are intrinsically linked. It makes perfect sense that the higher your self-esteem, the more clarity you will have on setting and keeping boundaries.
The purpose of boundaries is essentially to take responsibility for your life and what you will and will not allow into it. YOU are the only one that can define how you will be treated. You have the right to know that you will not tolerate certain words, actions, and behaviors. And no, it doesn’t make you mean; it makes you authentic.
Setting healthy boundaries is not limiting in the least; in fact, they allow you to show up as your authentic self. Boundaries quite literally set you free!
So, setting boundaries is really about practicing radical self-care. Give your self-esteem the boost it needs and deserves and develop brave boundaries – the sooner, the better.
Stop settling for chaos and nonsense in your life. To do so, you’ll need to set appropriate and firm limits with those that push your buttons.
Who are the Emotional Vampires in Your Life?
Emotional vampires… as the name implies, suck the life force out of you. If you’ve experienced it, you’ve allowed it. Setting healthy boundaries changes everything!
Frankly, we all have emotional vampires in our lives. Certain people may pop into your head with the mere mention of the phrase ‘energy vampire’. That’s a good indicator that they fit the description – don’t overthink it.
You know the ones: those who leave you feeling depleted, drained, and utterly exhausted after speaking with them or spending time with them.
Take a personal inventory of the emotional vampires in your life. Who are the top offenders in your life?
- Adult children
- Romantic partner
- Employers or coworkers
Once you’ve clearly identified the emotional vampires in your life, you’re ready to develop a plan to self-protect and honor yourself.
How to Set Healthy Boundaries
Sadly, most of us are not taught how to set healthy boundaries as a life skill. And that’s unfortunate as it can revolutionize your quality of life. Setting healthy boundaries is highly supportive of your overall well-being.
- Put on your oxygen mask first. Every time you fly, you’re reminded of this golden rule. Why? It’s an eye-opening reminder that you can’t help anyone else if you have no oxygen. This act of self-compassion and self-care is a beautiful reminder. In everyday life, self-care is your oxygen, do daily self-care before trying to assist anyone else. Is it selfish? NOPE, it’s loving and benefits all you come into contact with throughout your day.
- Gauge what’s most important to you and honor your highest values. How’s your inner self-talk? Is it kind or self-critical? You will allow others to mistreat you if you’re not kind to yourself first. That must change; it’s time to rise up, set healthy boundaries, and let others know your limits, unapologetically.
- Clearly define your limits and let them be known, far and wide.Only you know what you will not tolerate; that has to change. And it can change when you set boundaries about what you will and won’t tolerate intellectually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually --- be it with strangers, family, friends, work colleagues and intimate partners.
- Once boundaries are established, don’t allow anyone to disrespect your clear limits. Warning: Energy vampires love to steamroll over boundaries and try with all their might to bust your boundaries. Should this occur, you may need to go ‘no contact’ with that individual. Kick people-pleasing to the curb and honor your carefully established limits.
Now that you know how to set healthy boundaries don’t delay and get started right away. It is an urgent matter as it impacts your health.
Setting Boundaries for Better Physical and Emotional Health
By this time, you won’t be surprised to learn that having a lack of boundaries has serious consequences. The utter lack of boundaries can wreak havoc on you emotionally, physically, energetically, and spiritually.
Time and again, I see women in my Physical Therapy practice, who are deeply impacted by a lack of boundaries in their lives. And it’s why I’ve committed my life’s work to educating women on setting boundaries for better physical and emotional health. I encourage you to begin your journey today for a better way forward.
Albert Einstein’s words are full of wisdom “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
It’s not uncommon for women to experience overwhelm, stress, anxiety, depression, and even physical pain. I refer to this state as an ‘Emotional Hangover’ – which is brought on by a lack of boundaries.
In this state of overwhelm, women often develop very bad coping habits, including overeating, reaching for wine or other cocktails to self-medicate, and skipping exercise. That’s a recipe for disaster: weight gain, addiction, poor health, and poor self-image. The good news is – there’s a simple solution!
Because boundaries protect your highest values and allow you to take care of yourself – they ensure you’re in a place to enjoy fulfilling relationships.
Setting boundaries is the key to thriving emotionally and physically, and the decision to begin is in your hands.
The Importance of Self-Care for Women
When you get right down to it, the importance of self-care is instrumental to your overall health and well-being. Self-care must become non-negotiable; you must commit to self-care no matter what.
More often than not, women tend to overextend in their commitments, putting everyone else’s needs ahead of their own and taking on a “Super Woman” persona – and there is a high cost for that.
In times of high stress, it’s easy to throw yourself headlong into the problem, but abandoning self-care is not the answer. A strong self-care practice will help you navigate difficult situations with more ease and grace. Make self-care the non-negotiable foundation for living well.
Having experienced the burden of boundary problems firsthand, I faced a major healing crisis (Lung Cancer) – and I don’t want anything similar to happen to you! For goodness’ sake---don’t wait for a healing crisis to happen before you take action with your own health. Start your self-care practice today!
Because I value the importance of self-care for women, I’ve developed the Ultimate Self-Care Workbook with you in mind. Download this complimentary resource here to begin your healing self-care journey today!
Practicing good self-care is the most loving gift you can give to yourself – and those you love most.
To your health and wellness!
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