By The Grace & Hope Consulting Team
If you want to have healthy relationships in life, boundaries are crucial. However, setting and sticking to boundaries is a skill that can be difficult for some people to master.
When you set healthy boundaries, it means you understand and know what your limits are. It helps you to improve relationships, become happier and better fulfill your needs. The question is, how can you build better boundaries if it isn’t a skill that comes easy to you? Below, you’ll discover some great tips you can follow.
1. Identify your limits
It will be difficult to set boundaries if you don’t know what they are. Each of us has different limits we are willing to accept. So, start by writing down your mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional limits.
Think about what makes you feel stressed and uncomfortable. What are you willing to tolerate and what things are not OK with you? Once you have a list of your limits, you’ll have a better idea of the type of boundaries you need to set.
2. Say no without giving a reason
A great tip for setting better boundaries is to start saying no without providing a reason. Have you noticed that when you want to say no to something, you feel like you need to give an excuse? Often, this leads us to make up an excuse, leaving us feeling guilty afterwards for lying.
Learning to say no without giving a reason is much healthier. You don’t owe anybody an explanation for not wanting to do or accept something. This may be a tough tip to follow, but you’ll be surprised how free you feel when you start saying no without explanation.
3. Give yourself permission
The main things that set us back from creating boundaries are self-doubt, fear, and guilt. It could be that you are worried about the other person’s response. Or maybe you feel like you should be able to cope with doing certain things, so don’t feel comfortable saying no.
Give yourself permission to set boundaries. Realize that setting boundaries is healthy. Not only do boundaries contribute towards better relationships with others, but they also build up your self-worth too.
4. Step back from toxic relationships
Many of us have a toxic relationship of some kind. Whether it’s an unhealthy relationship with our friends or family, stepping back is one of the best ways to build up boundaries. If a relationship is no longer serving you, taking a step back is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself. It is never selfish or cruel to put yourself first in a toxic relationship. If anything, it is necessary for your happiness and wellbeing.
These are some of the best ways to build better boundaries. Once you have firm boundaries in place, your life will be much happier. You will start to feel more empowered and in control of your life. It isn’t just your right to make choices that best serve you, it is also a necessity.
When you are trying to practice self-love, you’re going to run into a few obstacles along the way. These can really derail your progress if you aren’t prepared. By being aware of the common obstacles, you can take steps to prevent them. So, let’s look at some of the most common obstacles people face when trying to practice more self-love.
1. You aren’t surrounded by positive, healthy relationships
A major obstacle to self-love is toxic people. If you are surrounded by people who drain your energy and have a negative outlook, you’re going to struggle to practice self-love.
Surround yourself with positive, healthy relationships. While all relationships go through hard times, for the most part they should lift you up and make you feel positively about yourself. So, if you have relationships which cause you more misery than happiness, now is the time to start taking a step back and focusing on healthier, happier relationships. After all, you’ll struggle to love yourself if you are surrounded by people who make you feel bad.
2. Feelings of guilt and selfishness
Another big barrier to practicing self-love is feelings of guilt and selfishness. It is common to feel like self-love is selfish. This can lead to feelings of guilt when you attempt to focus more on yourself.
You need to understand the importance of self-love. It isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity for your health and wellbeing. It certainly isn’t selfish so you absolutely shouldn’t feel guilty for trying to love yourself more.
3. Needing to be perfect
Perfectionism is a major obstacle to self-love. While a little perfectionism can be a good thing, especially in business, it can also lead to disappointment, frustration, and unhappiness.
When you feel like everything must be perfect, you aren’t going to be happy when you fall short. So, try and let go of your need to be perfect. Understand what draws your perfectionism and identify your triggers. Remember, nobody is perfect, not even you!
4. Not understanding how to love yourself
Finally, another barrier is not understanding how to love yourself. Many people don’t fully understand what self-love means. They mistakenly think it is about doing things you want to do, rather than what you need.
Self-love isn’t just about treating yourself; it is about making sure you are fulfilling your needs. For example, if you want to lose weight, indulging in junk food isn’t going to help, even though it might be brining temporary joy. Instead, a healthier diet and exercise routine is considered a form of self-love as it helps you to become healthier and fulfills the body’s needs.
These are just some of the common obstacles to self-love you need to be aware of. By being aware, you’ll be able to figure out how to overcome them if they do arise. Finding people, you trust and who build you up is a big part of being able to practice self-love. However, don’t forget to be your own personal cheerleader too.
5 Tips To Better Handle Holiday Stress
The holiday season is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, to take some time off work, or even escape for a winter getaway. For all the joy and fun, though, so comes the stress.
The expectations of social events, gift shopping, and entertaining guests can become too much for even the most festive types. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association 8 out of 10 people expect to experience an increase in stress over the holiday season.
With stress comes a greater risk of anxiety and depression, and reports from the Mayo Clinic show that depression is frequently an unwelcome guest over the holidays. All is not lost however, there are many ways you can minimize your stress and anxiety to allow you to truly enjoy the season.
1.Set A Budget
Shopping can be fun, but spending money isn’t always easy, and Americans spend almost a $1,000 every holiday season on gifts alone. You can minimize the damage by setting a budget and sticking to it.
A lot of the stress that we experience during the holidays is due to financial pressure and the Mayo Clinic suggests that setting a budget can be beneficial to your stress levels. Work out how much you can afford to spend on food and gifts, and stick to it.
The American Heart Association wants you to stay active all the time, but it’s extremely important to keep that up during the holidays. Any activity or exercise you can fit in will help reduce your stress and elevate your mood. It’s going to stimulate endorphin production and trigger a positive feeling in your body.
You might be busy, but if you can find time to exercise for half an hour three times a week, you will feel better. You can go walking or jogging, swimming or biking, play sports, and find time for aerobics. Also, find an accountability partner. I’m working on this step so if you are too and want to link arms, send me an email at email@example.com and we can do this together.
3. Take It Easy
The American Psychological Association reminds us that we need to take time for ourselves. There are parties and gatherings and we are constantly surrounded by people. It’s great to be with the ones we love and laugh about the old days.
You shouldn’t miss all those great times, but what you should be careful of is setting unrealistic expectations. You can’t do everything, and it’s okay to take time out for yourself, even if it’s just 15 minutes. If you do a whole lot of hosting, make sure you delegate- whether you ask everyone to bring a different dish, or you rope in the family to take on certain tasks.
4. Stay Smart
The holiday season is a time of indulgence, but as the Mayo Clinic directs- it doesn’t mean you should abandon your healthy ways. There’s no need for a free for all that will just add to your stress.
Enjoy yourself, but try having healthy snacks before holiday gatherings so you don’t over snack while you’re out. Make sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep, as you are more likely to overindulge after a poor night’s sleep.
5. Choose Your Battles
We all have someone in our circle that rubs us the wrong way. It’s only natural- not everyone can always get along. Allowing someone else to get under your skin, though, is only going to ruin your holiday and increase your stress level. Learn to pick your battles, and don’t take the bait.
The Mayo Clinic suggests that if you have a real problem with someone, set it aside and save it for another day. Even the calmest people can lose their cool during the holidays.
Self-care is a conscious choice and this is even truer during times of more stress, such as the holiday season. Make sure to take the time and create a deliberate plan! Remember, the holidays are supposed to be a time of fun, family, and relaxation, don’t let stress interfere with this great time of year.
As always, prioritize wellbeing and the rest will flow. Happy Holidays!