How to ACTUALLY Set Achievable Goals You'd Love!
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Hi I'm Shazie, a mindset + self-love coach ♥ I'm a West Coast-turned-East Coast girl, so naturally I'm conflicted between Dunkin vs Starbs. Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you stick around♥
5 Tips on Setting Boundaries (& Why It's Important!)
This has been something I’ve been struggling with already pre-pandemic, so you can only imagine my struggles this past year. I’m writing this in the most lovable way. We do NOT have to burn bridges in order to set boundaries. I feel like we all have a role to play in normalizing boundaries with friends, family, and co-workers, and not take things personal when Person X just needs time to regroup.
In this post, I’ll be Person X.
I like to think of boundaries as the imaginary line between me and you. It separates my mind, emotions, thoughts, etc from others. Or others from you.
Think of yourself as an island.
If your island isn’t functioning properly with the strong infrastructure, you’re more prone to being susceptible to floods/other disasters (in this case, other people).
In my early 20’s, I was always a YES woman without a care in the world how stretched thin I was. I said yes to everything bc I thought that’s what it meant to be a good friend, relative, employee, etc.
One time, I remember being so afraid to say no to a social outing bc I felt like “studying” or “wanting to have me time” were not valid excuses.
Little did I know – boundaries are meant to protect your inner peace + joy. It doesn’t exactly mean we want nothing with everyone else.
It just means we need time for ourselves before pouring into others.
I mean, can you imagine being “available” all the damn time for everyone else around you while YOU are burnt out? You’d be literally giving up your own sanity for the sake of others — thus potentially compromising losing sight of YOU.
I’m just going to say this for the people in the back — being a good friend/relative does NOT mean you need to be available all the time.
After all, how can we truly be there for others when we’re barely doing it for ourselves?
Again, NO bridges have to be burned doing this.
I’ve been lucky to work in public health where mental health, wellness, and mindfulness have been embedded in not only the curriculum but my everyday life. For example, mental health days are recognized in my workplace (I just struggle with actually taking that day off…).
Anyway, we’ve been conditioned to think that being there for others mean putting yourself on the back burner or dropping everything you’re doing for someone else.
In some cases, this is understandable but sometimes, the weight + stress that stem from not only your life but someone else’s life might just push you off the edge.
Just recently, I opened up about having a super stressful week, both in my personal + professional life. Whether it’s my inability to focus on big projects due to continuous interruptions/notifications or getting texts from people trying to vent about something that you KNOW you do not have the bandwidth for, there comes a point where you just have to hit the pause button.
Alluding to this stressful week, I even “stress cried” + put my phone on airplane mode AND turned my phone off (feel like you can never be too sure LOL).
While this isn’t exactly the “best” mechanism/reaction, my days felt like they were spiraling out of control. While these days come sparingly, that was how I knew I needed a huge timeout.
Another sign was when my fav show of all time was on TV (if you guessed Friends, you’re right :P) and I was so annoyed with life that not even Friends could cheer me up. I shut the TV off and sat in total darkness.
That was when I knew I had to be still in the dark, unplugged and fully disconnected.
My real peeps know that I do not have to respond right away or even talk to them every single day to “prove” that we’re still okay. I’ve made it a habit now to let messages linger until I’m in the right headspace to do so.
I haven’t had social media notifications on since 2017 bc IG was very overwhelming even back then! You’re prob wondering, what does social media have to do with boundaries? Well for starters, I won’t be seeing DMs on my home screen.
Second, consuming other people’s content hinders me from my own much-needed self-reflection.
I know it’s wild, but I try to block off the last 30 mins of work for any wrap-ups I have to do. Lately, it has been hard for me to do that since my meetings have been running after 5pm (lol), BUT for the most part, I do have it blocked off if I don’t have pressing deadlines.
I also started changing my status on Teams, so people know I’m not exactly available to respond even if my calendar is open. People sometimes misconstrues free time as being available, but I see it as WORKING time so really, are we all ever available? *shrugs*
As for my personal life, I just try not to schedule anything that has been set aside for me. Simple as that 🙂
Once I started reframing my mindset, this has elevated the way I interact with others.
I used to be that “I have to find an excuse” type of person, but now, I find that YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE ANYTHING.
I’ve obviously gotten more assertive throughout the years esp. now that I’m near 30 (aah!!). I don’t want to continue feeling like I need to explain myself if I’m simply not up for socializing. Can we all just normalize this + ACCEPT when someone wants to r/s? Like don’t even ask why unless they voluntarily offer an explanation?
Take a girl to therapy and all of a sudden, I’m better at communicating 😛 But seriously though, I’ve gotten better over time to simply admit I do not have the bandwidth to engage. Sometimes, I hardly have the space to respond but when I do, I use the following down below.
I’m obviously not perfect, so these little scripts are still in the works. Here is what I’ve been saying:
While you don’t need it, I’m giving YOU permission to rest + put yourself first sometimes. We CAN be selfish + selfless at the same time when we do it in a way that feels best for us. We should commit to always being our best versions, so we can give to others when the time comes.
Again, you do not have to burn bridges to set boundaries. Take space, make space.
I hope you find this helpful. Let me know down below if you have additional tips!
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