Mental health self-care: How to set boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries has become the new self-care practice, especially after 2020, when a lot of us were forced to share the space and we could no longer go to the gym, or work when we needed some space.

Last year we had to assess what we needed and what no longer worked for us, especially when it comes down to boundaries.

What are boundaries?

Boundaries are the limits we set on our relationships about what type of behavior we will and won’t accept. They are a guideline to how we expect to be treated, they are the very foundation of every relationship. Boundaries set a clear limit that protects us from unacceptable, inappropriate treatment and they are essential for our mental, physical and emotional health.

Boundaries are the limits we set on our relationships about what type of behavior we will and won’t accept.

When do we need to set boundaries?

If you feel exhausted, frustrated or annoyed after talking to somebody, that is a sign that person might be overstepping –pay attention to how you feel before and after you interact with people. This will help you assess whether you need to set some boundaries to protect yourself.

Types of boundaries

Mental and emotional boundaries

These include the way you allow someone to speak to you, how much you are willing to invest in a relationship and who do you share your thoughts, opinions and emotions with.

Physical boundaries

This is how close you let people get to you and what touch is acceptable for you.

How to set your boundaries

Before Communication what change you want, you have to decide what you need from them.

1. Say exactly what you need

Before Communication what change you want, you have to decide what you need from them. Then think of how you are going to do it and write it out, so you don’t forget what you want to say at the moment.

2. The right time and the right way

When communicating your needs, make sure both of you are not emotionally reactive and try starting with a compliment to set the tone. Then make sure you are clear, do not ask for a change in their behavior, but rather say how you will respond if this person continues doing what upsets you. For example, “If you bring up this topic again, I will not continue with the conversation.”

3. Be nice to yourself

There might be some people who won’t react very well to your new norms, make sure you don’t feel guilty. The longer you practice setting boundaries, the less resentment and more confidence you will feel.

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Victoria Thais

A trip to India was all it took for Victoria to realise that meditation is not a fancy word for sitting around in silence. It truly changed Victoria’s life to a less stressful and more mindful one. Now a freelance consultant and journalist, Victoria joined KOKO to share her knowledge on those little things that are life so much better, and cosier.+ info

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