Boundaries are Self-Care

In recent years, self-care has had a rise in popularity, and in fact, is recommended by almost all professionals in the mental health field. It’s common for your therapist to recommend engaging in some form of self-care between sessions, as well as implementing a self-care routine into your life, in various forms that suit you best. Self-care allows you to take much-needed time to yourself and can take many forms. 

Take a moment to reflect on what comes to your mind when you hear the term “self-care”.  Most often self-care can be seen as a physical act of some form: going to the gym, making yourself a nice meal, watching a tv show that you enjoy, reading a book, journaling, going to get a mani/pedi, or taking your dog for a walk. And while those are all wonderful and even recommended ways to engage in self-care, there is another way to engage in self-care that is geared towards protecting your time, energy, and physical/emotional self. This form of self-care is known as boundaries. 

Now, boundaries can sound intimidating right off the bat, and that is totally understandable. It’s common to initially think of setting a boundary as setting a barrier and is even common to worry about how others will react to a boundary. Boundaries can take time to become comfortable with, especially if you haven’t assessed areas of your life that could benefit from a boundary. In actuality, boundaries can be wonderful ways to protect yourself time-wise, energetically, emotionally, and physically. 

The key ingredient to setting a boundary is assertiveness. Assertiveness takes place in the form of communication by finding your voice to recognize and take action for your self-care. This particular type of communication allows for you to state your needs while acknowledging someone or something else’s influence, that you have decided to no longer engage in. In time you can become more comfortable with assertiveness, as you can recognize that you are worthy of having your time, physical space, emotions, and energy protected. 

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if a boundary is needed in one of the following areas. 

Time

Do you find yourself struggling with fitting time for yourself in your day-to-day life? Does work run past time, to where you have to choose between seeing loved ones or going to bed at a decent time? Do you feel like there aren’t enough minutes in the day to take a moment to just breathe? 

Physical

Do you feel uncomfortable engaging in physical affection with specific people? Is there a play you are expected to go to that triggers feelings of being uncomfortable? 

Emotional and Energetic 

Are there certain people you bring up challenging emotions and expectations? Are there people in your life that you feel drained after seeing or talking to? Is there an obligation that doesn’t bring you joy, but you are expected to engage in? 

When it comes to the time you are ready to set a boundary, here are a few reminders that will help boost confidence in your boundary action: 

    1. When you set a boundary, and someone reacts poorly to your boundary, it says more about that person than you. You are worthy of your boundary. 
    2. No is a full sentence. It’s a small statement that holds power. 

What parts of your life can you engage in self-care by setting a boundary? 

If you would like further help in understanding your boundaries and how to set them, give Tx Harmony Counseling a call at (832) 352-1600 or contact us here. 

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Kaitlyn DeLeon, LPC

Kaitlyn DeLeon, LPC

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