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How to Set Good Boundaries

In this post, I’m going to focus on how to set good boundaries as part of self-care. This is the last post in my Wonder Woman series where I have been focusing on important issues relating to the modern (amazing) woman.

Jane is working at her full-time job all day. Once she gets off, she picks the kids up to take them to karate practice. Then it’s off to a church function where Jane volunteered to bring a dish and help out. Jane knows she’s got a big day at work tomorrow with an important meeting. She still needs to finish preparing for it but she also needs to call her aunt, who she’s agreed to take to a doctor’s appointment. Then she remembers she promised to drop off a dish to her cousin, who just had her second child. Jane is overwhelmed and lacks good boundaries.

The Weight of Our Responsibilities

Does Jane’s story sound familiar to you? Maybe the details are different but do you find yourself sinking some days from the weight of responsibilities?

Your to-do list is just too long.

How often do you kick yourself for saying yes to another commitment?

How often do you feel stressed and tired from having said yes too many times?

Boundaries as Part of Self-Care

Part of good self-care is saying “no” more often. When you do that, you are prioritizing your self-care. What exactly is a boundary? I define a boundary as a limit you set. It’s like a border or invisible fence. A boundary can mean many different things to different people. I’m going to focus on how setting boundaries contributes to your self care. 

Your boundaries have to make sense for you and your family. This is a tough one. For many high achieving women, saying no does not come easy. We live in a culture that teaches us the harder you work, the more you hustle, then the better the person you are and the more you are viewed as successful. Ladies, hear me when I say this is incorrect

If you follow this concept for long enough you will likely find yourself stressed, overwhelmed, and close, if not to the point, of burnout. You are human after all.

How to Say No More

Now, in 2019, boundaries are necessary for our survival as women. There are messages everywhere about how we should be as a woman, a wife, a mom both on the outside and inside. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has an opinion. It can easily be overwhelming. Filtering the noise is a great strategy I like to recommend. What I mean by this is that you have to filter what you take in through your eyes and ears. This can cover a wide range of things, but for the purpose of this blog, I’m referring to messages we see and hear about what we and our families should be doing. Sometimes it’s well-intentioned advice by family and friends, but even then, it’s important to filter it. Here’s two simple questions you can ask yourself:

  • Is this helpful for me and my family?
  • Is this something I agree with or believe in?

Saying no can be so very empowering. Here’s the thing, sometimes the other person doesn’t like your no. They may get angry or give you the silent treatment or even question you. The honest truth is, if they truly care about you, they will respect your decision and still care about you. In other words, they’ll get over it.

Just remember you do what is best for you and your family. Every family unit is unique.

If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed more than usual, check out my post here with tips on how to cope: https://fullpotentialcounseling.com/how-to-cope-with-feeling-overwhelmed/.

Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner of Full Potential Counseling. With over 12 years of experience, she specializes in working with women on building healthier relationships with themselves and others. She strongly believes that women are warriors and that every woman has worth, significance, and purpose. Maria provides in-person sessions at her office in the Ortega area as well as online sessions for the busy woman. For a free phone/online consultation or to schedule a session with Maria, call 904-204-9308 or email her at [email protected]