NO-vember and YES to Boundaries
By: Raeanna Thompson
Welcome back to Ornami’s Glow Guide! The fall is among us and although the seasons are changing, your mental health doesn’t have to. When you make yourself a priority and effectively implement healthy boundaries, your mental health will thank you. We’re getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, so keep reading as we dive into why personal property lines are necessary and how they can change your life.
Have you heard? This month is all about you, bestie. Welcome to NO-vember, where the leaves change colors, the temperatures drop, and you decrease stress with the simple, two-letter word: NO. More often than not, we may find ourselves agreeing to tasks or activities that we don’t want to participate in. The month of November is time to take back your power and release the need to people-please by simply saying “no” to anything that doesn’t spark joy. As referred to in our Self-Care Planner, there’s beauty in a firm “no”, creating space for activities that best serve you and your purpose. According to psychologists at PositivePsychology.com, people who can effectively set healthy boundaries with others see improvements in defining their identities, emotional and mental health, and avoidance of burnout. If you find yourself struggling with being a people-pleaser and lacking boundaries, don’t fret because we’re here to help.
Steps to Take When Setting Boundaries
Boundaries can come in many shapes and forms within your relationships. Types of boundaries can include physical, emotional, sexual, financial, material, etc. A physical boundary can look like: “I actually don’t like when you put your arm around me like that. Please don’t do it again.” An emotional boundary can consist of: “When I’m upset I would prefer if you’d listen to my perspective before yelling over me. It could help us reach a solution faster.” When working to set these foundations in your relationships with others, you must first assess what it is you want to accomplish. Are you working to be more assertive? Will the boundary lessen disrespect? There can be a variety of reasons! To some, drawing a line for other individuals may seem overwhelming. Trying these easy steps when deciding to implement a boundary can make the process easier and ease any anxieties that can come with it.
- Assessing- First step in honoring yourself is assessing your emotions. How did this person’s actions make you feel? What may have been triggering? When you give yourself the space to fully decipher your emotions, this will in turn lead you to effectively communicate them to others. Remember, respond rather than react!
- Communicating- Whether we like it or not, people cannot read our minds. Communicating how something makes you feel gives others an opportunity to peek into your mind and understand the role their actions may play in your emotional health. Be intentional during this time; decide what it is you are trying to get out of the boundary that is being set.
- Acting- In order to ensure you are not being taken advantage of, you must be firm in your boundaries. After communicating them, be sure to assert your boundary by upholding actions that will be a result of the boundary being disrespected. An example of this can be ending the conversation if your partner continues to speak over you.
Do You Lack Boundaries?
The purpose of creating boundaries is to take control of your life; sometimes this is the exact self-care you need to truly boost your emotional and mental health. Floating through life without drawing lines for how others should treat you will leave you at the hands of other individuals and relationships will begin to feel draining. Individuals who struggle with implementing boundaries may also struggle with feelings of resentment towards others, minimizing their own needs, constantly feeling responsible for others, and much more. It is imperative to recognize when you are not acting as your highest self in setting firm boundaries in relationships. Signs you lack boundaries can include:
- being passive aggressive
- becoming annoyed easily
- being overly nice to others
- remaining in toxic relationships
If you feel as though you can relate, do not feel ashamed! Part of self-growth is recognizing where you may have gone wrong and actively working to improve daily.
Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
As stated earlier, setting boundaries can bring upon feelings of being overwhelmed and anxious. It is completely normal to feel somewhat guilty when first working to implement these standards in your relationships. Part of ascending in your self-love journey is becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. Like many other things in life, practice makes perfect! You should never feel guilty for doing what is best for you and expressing to others how something may have made you feel. Emotions are what make us human and you have a right to communicate them to others. When you understand that boundaries assist you in being your own person, you release the need to feel guilty when communicating your needs.
What we love about self-care is it can come in a multitude of ways. Take pride in yourself this No-vember by reiterating your needs and what you will/will not tolerate. It’s time to make yourself the priority because you are the main character in your life!