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  • Writer's picturedrjennifer_tauks

Want To Preserve Your Self Care? Maintain Your Personal Boundaries

"And all around your island, there's a barricade. It keeps out the danger. It holds in the pain." Tom Petty

Working as a therapist and a professor, I have accumulated years of experience and stories of people experiencing burnout, fatigue, and resentment in their personal, family, and professional lives.


During this time, I have provided therapy and guidance to help alleviate these feelings. I have also provided lectures on ways to better cope with daily stressors; all of which have contributed to ongoing feelings of depression and anxiety. In fact, I have invested so many hours into this topic that I have narrowed it down to one common theme.


Want to know the secret to preserve your self-care?


BOUNDARIES


According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a boundary is something that indicates or fixes a limit or extent. In therapy, the American Psychological Association (APA) defines boundaries as psychological demarcation that protects the integrity of an individual or group or that helps the person or group set realistic limits on participation in a relationship or activity.

Intersect the two and you have a LIMIT that PROTECTS person/group and creates space for healthy relationships.


Personal boundaries are essential to self-care. Boundaries are necessary to our lives. It is within boundaries where we operate, understand, and place control in our life. In our relationships, we learn and become aware of others and how to respect their boundaries. Many people are experts are understanding others' boundaries, but lack the ability to place boundaries for themselves in their work, personal, and family life.


Benefits of Boundaries

Boundaries give us protected space and freedom. This space gives us time to evaluate or reevaluate beliefs, values, and feelings. It is an opportunity to think about what is or isn't working for us in all areas of our life. We can figure out our feelings without having them interfere in relationships. Boundaries help us break negative patterns that we may have been reinforcing along stages of our life. Give yourself time to think about and reflect on how you can clearly articulate your needs. Freedom arrives when we make the conscious choice to enact our boundaries in all areas of our life.


Here is what setting boundaries look and sound like:


Personal Life

Here’s how it works:

  • Don't be afraid to say no

  • Create personal time in your schedule

  • Realize different relationships require different boundaries

  • Let go of self-judgment


Work-Life:

Here’s how it works:

  • Prioritize your schedule

  • Limit time with coworkers as needed

  • Communicate clearly and effectively

  • Take time off


Family Life:

Here’s how it works:

  • Set realistic expectations of your relationships with family members

  • Put your needs first

  • Avoid family drama

  • It's ok to say no to activities that you know are not healthy for you


Your self-care and emotions are first priority. Without having a solid handle on your needs, you lose control of your protected space. Reinforce your boundaries as you need and give yourself the gift of personal peace and freedom.

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