5 Boundaries you need now

Let’s talk about boundaries, shall we?

It’s another subject they need to be teaching in schools. (Maybe they are now and I’m out of the loop? If so, let me know in the comments. I’d love to know if they are).

I came from a home where my mom did everything my dad asked without question or comment. It’s an older generational thing. I wouldn’t say I was a pushover or acted mousey but I didn’t really understand what a boundary was until well into adulthood. Like most of us, I learned from my parents and surroundings.

Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know!

Unfortunately, I learned the hard way about boundaries by not having or enforcing enough of them. Furthermore, I didn’t realize that the tone and behavior I set for myself would determine how people treated me. Back then I just couldn’t understand why I always ended up with the most difficult team of patients on the floor (I’m a nurse for those of you who are new here. And welcome!) or why my ideas and accomplishments weren’t acknowledged while others who said the exact same thing were praised and put on a pedestal.

I’m happy to say I’ve learned a lot since my young adult years and have grown and developed self-love, self-confidence, self-care and healthy boundaries.

If you sat down to write a list of your boundaries would you know what they are?

Do you have a clear understanding of what your values are, what you stand for and will tolerate?

I think this is an important step for all adults to take to develop their maturity.

Here is my list of five boundaries everyone should have. These are broader ideas that you must clarify and define for yourself. Fine tune them to meet your specific boundaries. It’s a starting point and food for thought about your own boundaries or lack thereof.

1. Physical (and sexual) boundaries. You are responsible for saying no when someone touches you in any way that makes you feel uncomfortable. That can be anything from a hand on your shoulder, hug or sexual advances. An example of a healthy physical boundary would be if someone asks if they can touch your pregnant belly and you say, “Thank you for asking. That’s not something I feel comfortable with.”

2. Time. You have the right to say no without feeling guilty or giving an explanation. You are your own decision-maker when it comes to how much time you want to spend with someone. An example of a healthy time boundary would be leaving work on time so you can enjoy your personal time.

3. Intellectual boundaries include knowing your thoughts and beliefs and understanding what is appropriate to share and discuss with others. A healthy intellectual boundary would be keeping your views about religious rights and wrongs to yourself and recognizing respecting others the same way you would want them to respect you as well as not responding to others who try to convince you of their belief systems (even on the internet)!

4. Material boundaries include your possessions and money. No one has a right to take from you or bully you into giving. An example of a healthy material boundary is not co-signing for someone who can’t get a loan themselves.

5. Emotional boundaries are keeping your emotions in check and revealing them when necessary. Keeping up a wall of no emotions is just as unhealthy as over sharing. It’s just different. An example of a healthy emotional boundary is calmly and directly stating how something makes you feel and why. This doesn’t mean it’s not ok to be angry or sad. All emotions are valid and real. It means we can look beyond our anger or sadness and have a healthy discussion without losing it, even if it means we need to step away for a while to gather our thoughts and compose ourselves.

Remembering the following can help you go a long way with others.

If someone doesn’t understand your boundaries that’s their problem, not yours. You do not need to explain your boundaries to anyone at any time.

I hope someone found some benefit from this. It’s a subject I’m sure I’ll be exploring again. If you like this type of content or benefitted in any way, please give this a like and consider following!

Big list of healthy self care ideas

Hi Friends!

I’ve been seeing a lot of self care idea lists floating around the internet. Self care can be anything you want it to be and I’m certainly not here to dictate your life. However, I’ve noticed some of the ideas don’t really seem very healthy.

I think it’s fine and even great to indulge once in a while on a favorite meal or dessert, have wine in the evening or a drink with friends. Sometimes we need to buy ourselves something nice if we haven’t done that in a while or binge on Netflix. Though enjoyable, these things are not self-care.

My ideas of self care are things that will promote healthy habits and improve my brain and body. My self-care routine includes things that help me to de-stress.

Alcohol and mindless TV actually do not relieve stress as many people think they do.

Things that relieve stress include exercise or any physical activity, inner reflection such as journaling, meditating or improving your coping skills, eating healthy and getting enough sleep, sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone and developing and keeping personal boundaries, just to name a few.

When we use food, drinks, shopping or mindless TV as ways of de-stressing we are actually developing poor coping skills. That is not to say that regular massage isn’t beneficial because we have to pay for it. That’s different than buying the latest tech gadget. Having a pedicure is a nice self-care treat but if you feel you’re doing it to keep up an image or you can’t afford to do so, it is not longer helpful but creating more stress.

I am suggesting that you are careful with your self-care practice and don’t just follow a list someone made and posted on Pinterest. Don’t even follow my list if it’s something that’s unhealthy for you. Everyone needs to come up with their own self-care tool kit and keep adding to it.

That said, some people need ideas. So I’m going to list some of my ideas below. I believe these to be healthy and, if done often, will promote good coping skills and less stress in your lives.

Let me know what you think below in the comments!

    Self massage, especially feet, neck, shoulders and temples.
    Have an early night
    Take a nap if needed
    10 minutes of stretching
    Read a good book
    Reach out to a friend
    Write a hand written letter
    Gratitude journal
    Say no without feeling guilty
    Delegate tasks appropriately
    Remove toxic people from your life.
    Let go of the little things (stop the glory of perfectionism)
    Mindfully have a cup of tea or coffee
    Prioritize your day and stick to it.
    Take care of a few small annoying tasks.
    Develop personal boundaries
    Take a relaxing bath or shower
    Learn to meditate (apps and YouTube are helpful for beginners)
    Mind map or brain dump
    Do something creative
    Take a walk
    Open windows. Enjoy sunshine and fresh air.
    Have your lunch outside if possible
    Communicate your needs effectively
    Practice active listening (helps to bond with others and be in the moment)
    Evaluate your life’s priorities and change accordingly.
    Be willing to accept life’s ups and downs.
    Find joy in the ordinary
    Listen to talks by your favorite people (motivational, spiritual, Ted talks that are beneficial to your person, etc).
    Play games on your phone that help your brain (rather than mindless ones). Check out games that prevent dementia/Alzheimer’s like puzzles, word games and problem solving.
    Expand your vocabulary by reading rather than listening to audio books.
    Listen to audiobooks while driving or exercising.
    Find health recipes online and make a cookbook of your favorites.
    If you eat meat, try eating vegetarian or vegan for a day to expand your palette and senses and do something good for the world.
    Don’t compare yourself to others.
    Stop negative thinking in it’s tracks and replace with a positive thought or affirmation.
    Seek help for problems you can’t solve on your own.
    Schedule dedicated time for yourself every single day.
    Instead of apologizing for your thoughts, feelings or behaviors thank the person you’re speaking to for acknowledging them.
    Develop a morning and nighttime routine and try to stick to it.
    Make your lunch and pick out your outfit for the next day.
    Make sure you get at least ten good laughs in every day (watch funny clips, tell jokes, be light-hearted and silly)
    Declutter one drawer or area each day until your free of clutter.
    Say no or cancel plans if needed and do not feel guilty.
    Remember that you are not responsible for others actions.
    Listen to music
    Plan a date with yourself or your partner.
    Explore something new (food, location, hobby or interests)
    Stroll slowly through a museum, aquarium or park noticing details
    Try to stick to a sleep schedule
    Fast walk or jog for half an hour (or even ten minutes if that’s all you can do)
    Try a new form of exercise or a new sport.
    Play with your pet if you have one.
    Call your biggest supporter when needed.
    Make connections with people, big and small (even with the various workers we encounter every day)
    Write or think about 5 things you love about yourself.
    Express your feelings.
    Learn how to calm yourself on your own command
    Try deep breathing techniques.
    Learn how to do a body scan meditation (yoga Nidra)
    Allow yourself extra time in the morning to look your best.
    Leave early for work without rushing.
    Donate to charities
    Do something nice for a neighbor (cut their grass, bake them some cookies or bring in their garbage cans)
    Challenge yourself to drink about 2 liters of water each day
    Join or start a book club
    Use a foam roller to work out any kinks
    Walk or bicycle
    Pamper yourself with excellent skin care (Pamper doesn’t mean expensive! For example, Vanicream is one of the best face washes out there. It is very good for all skin types)
    Treat yourself to a new item of clothing, if needed
    Cook with love and care.
    Focus on the positive.
    Develop a mindset that there are no problems, only opportunities to learn and grow (and develop a new skill set).
    Do everything slowly and mindfully. Stop rushing.
    Identify and stop a bad habit (putting yourself down, swearing, going to bed too late, using food for comfort, etc)
    Surround yourself with good textures (cozy blanket, comfortable clothing)
    Wear comfortable shoes
    Compliment yourself in the mirror.
    Don’t succumb to the pressures of an unrealistic life portrayed on social media.
    Curate your Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc to only follow people who inspire and educate you.
    Likewise, unfollow Facebook “friends” who are negative and always complaining.
    Learn and try different grounding techniques.
    Indulge in essential oils
    Cuddle, exchange a massage, or have someone brush your hair. Do not underestimate the power of physical touch.
    Try doing some random acts of kindness to strangers.
    Tell someone you love them and why you appreciate them.
    Expand your mind by learning about other cultures, religions and ideas.
    Let go of always having to be right or have the last word.
    Be willing to fall apart so you can come back together even stronger.
    Catch yourself when you judge another and remind yourself that everyone has a right to their own beliefs and that you’re not here to change anyone.
    Try learning about and doing some shadow work.
    Learn to practice patience in preparation to do a job right the first time.
    Be brave. Go outside your comfort zone.
    Learn how to be a good host/hostess and throw a dinner party (form connections, practice serving others).
    Organize your desk, vanity, wardrobe or a drawer.
    Develop a budget and financial plan
    Think before you speak.
    Be the friend you want to have.
    Practice honesty and good values.
    And once in a while blow your own damn mind!

Please let me know what you thought of these ideas and what you’d like me to add!

May you be happy and well!