Setting boundaries is very important for your own mental health and wellbeing. In this blog, we will discuss how you can implement boundaries.
Keeping positive all of the time is not realistically achievable. It can be difficult at times depending on what is currently going on in our lives. All that we can do is try to make it as easy for ourselves as possible and be kind to ourselves. One thing that helps massively is having a good self-care routine. You can read all about good self-care tips in one of our previous blogs here (Keeping Positive Blog)
Another way to try to keep positive is by recognising early warning signs and triggers and by setting boundaries in hopes we do not connect with circumstances that affect our mental health. By doing this we can reduce the number of occasions where our mental health is impacted so that in scenarios where we cannot prevent certain circumstances we have more mental energy and preparation to tackle the situation.
What mental energy is and mental exhaustion will cover in a later blog.
It is important to remember that setting boundaries about your mental health are not selfish. Putting your own well-being first is important. Remember, the flight attendants on every flight you have ever been on? “Put your own mask on first, before you help others”.
We often feel guilty if we need space or dislike something from a loved one. However, when looking after our mental health it is important to understand, that space is okay and even just not feeling comfortable is okay. Rember, that it is OK to say no. You cannot be everything to all people. We all have an inner container that we need to manage so that we don’t overflow and end up stressed and/or depressed.
The best way to understand and protect your mental health is by understanding yourself and the way in which your own mind works.
What is meant by boundaries for mental health?
Boundaries are also known as a set of rules one will put in place to protect themselves. People can place boundaries in place for many things and not just their mental health. However, often people do not realise that they can put them in place in relation to their mental health too.
How can having boundaries help your mental health?
Having health boundaries helps to recognise situations before something directly impacts your mental health. Therefore allowing it to be easier to amend things before they get too far or sometimes even allowing yourself to remove yourself from a situation before it impacts your mental health.
Setting boundaries will also make you feel more positive about your capability of self-care and will put you in a place of control Often when we feel as if we are taking care of ourselves either physically or mentally then we feel more confident in ourselves which in turn allows us to feel and think more positively..
Showing that healthy boundaries can help:
Better our self-esteem
Conserving emotional energy
Leave us feeling more independent
Do you have to set different boundaries for different situations?
The boundaries we set can always differ and be altered as and when we feel the need to adapt. When setting boundaries you do not want to set them in stone as being too strict with yourself may just present stress. You want to every now and then be open to if your boundaries need any change in them.
We may also find when setting boundaries that they may differ for other people. We may have tighter boundaries for some people but be more freely with other people. It is important to remember that it is okay to do this as it is our own mental health we are protecting.
How to set boundaries for mental health?
The best way to begin putting boundaries in place for your mental health would be to first start by recognising triggers. What is meant by this is by identifying situations, places or even people who may have a negative impact on you.
Once you have then recognised what it is that may be triggering a poor mental state then it will become easier to set boundaries in place.
Step by Step guide for health boundaries
Clearly identify your boundaries
Understand why you need boundaries
Be straight forward
Don’t apologise or give long explanations
Use a calm and polite tone
Start with tighter boundaries
Address boundary violations early
Don’t make it personal
Use a support system
Trust your instincts (your gut instinct is there for a reason)
After following these 10 steps on how to put healthy boundaries in place and getting into the habit of doing these, maintaining them may start to feel easier.
Steps on how to set healthy boundaries within the workplace?
Identify your priorities
Learn to say no
Take time off
Look for examples of professional boundaries
Establish boundaries with co-workers
Create built-in breaks
Triage your tasks
Don’t skip breaks
Power down technology
Stick to your routine
Try to separate your workspace
You do not have to do all of the above times. However, doing some it will definitely help to maintain healthy boundaries and avoid as much mental stress as possible.
Steps on how to set healthy boundaries with friends and family?
Prepare yourself before talking, take time to listen and still be with your feelings
Be kind and keep it simple
Be open and listen
Pause if you being to feel heated
Say no if needed
Give final thought
Once again not all these will always work or be the easiest to do, as we often feel guilty for saying no to loved ones or being too firm. However, for the sake of our own mental state, it is critical.
Examples of boundaries
Some boundaries that may be useful are things like;
Giving yourself time and permission to focus on yourself
Naming your limits
Be consistent with the boundaries you have set
Being direct clear and simple
If you need back up get support
If setting boundaries makes you feel uncomfortable and anxious, start small. Build your confidence and understanding that saying no is okay and then move forward when you feel comfortable enough.
Additional resources for setting healthy boundaries:
There are many other ways that you can learn about how to or even get support to setting healthy boundaries.
Many books such as (Amazon affiliate links)
Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself. (written by; Nedra Glover Tawwab)
Good Enough. (written by; Jen Petro-Roy)
Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Employers and Employees (written by; Gill Hasson & Donna Butler)
Youngminds.org - Have some downloadable worksheets and tips on their site.
Therapist Aid - Have boundaries downloadable worksheets
There are many ways to set boundaries in place for our mental health. The key thing is to always try to remember not to feel guilty in doing so.
If you feel you would like a better insight into the ongoing mental health problems, we do offer an online Mental Health First Aid course.
Provided by an instructor qualified under Mental Health First Aid England, allowing yourself to become a qualified Mental Health First Aider.
For further information Email: email@example.com