Boundaries are vital.

You may not realise that you have them, have no idea what I’m talking about, what they are, or how to maintain them or even have them?


Simply put, a boundary is a dividing line and here I’m referring to the emotional boundaries that help keep us feeling happy, nurtured, and valued.


Boundaries are important for:

  • The stability of our mental health and wellbeing.
  • Helping us feel stable (centered) during difficult times.
  • Holding to our values and what feels ‘right’ for us.
  • Helping us have awareness of our emotions and feelings.
  • Knowing our limits and how to recognise when you’re going too far.


When pushed to the edge of our boundaries, we experience feelings of fatigue, feeling drained, and at times overwhelming.


Why should we have them and why are they important? 


  • To give yourself respect, acceptance, and value who you are.
  • To understand yourself and know that something is pushing you too close to that uncomfortable edge.
  • To know your triggers, that can be experienced through mental or physical symptoms.


Some Different Types of Boundaries.

  • Family and our roles within our families. These could be caring or helping roles we’ve grown up with, which can be very difficult to shift. At times we may agree to something that we do not feel like or have the energy and desire for, but feel we ‘have to’.


  • Home and taking time to ourselves at home, especially as parents can be challenging. There always feels like there is something else to do, wash, clean, tidy, etc. Those days of being alone in a room (or bathroom) typically vanish with little people. 

  • Work and those emails that come at 9 pm! (tutting to myself) It is important to maintain our free time and nonwork hours, so we can be rested and fully engaged when we are at work.

  • Money organisation and mindset. Consider your feelings about borrowing, earnings, sharing with others, and spending on yourself. 

Recognising Our Limits

Resentful of something or someone can be a big indication that you are being pushed to your limit, and you are going over your boundary line.

Lack of enthusiasm, are there negative sensations in your body? 

We need to recognise the difference between needing a gentle push, for example, in intimidating social situations, which could become positive, or genuinely not wanting to do it?

Discomfort if something is not sitting very well with you or someone being inappropriate.


Practical Steps:

  • Consider your values and what you are prepared to do.
  • Think about your family roles, are there any other family members that can help or need reminding?
  • When someone asks something of you, sit with your initial feelings and response, practice listening to those important instincts. 
  • Introduce ‘me time’ to your children, whatever age. It is a skill for them to learn too that we all need time alone.
  • Avoid checking work emails in the evening.
  • Maintain boundaries around when you are available in nonwork hours from the start.
  • Switch your phone off regularly every evening and turn it on at a time you choose preferable after breakfast.
  • Be aware of what you have financially. Consider your plans and priorities for the future. A simple expenses spreadsheet can be very helpful to feel more in control. 

  • Lastly, you always have my permission to say no.


Photo by Héctor J. Rivas on Unsplash

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Boundaries are vital. You may not realise that you have them, have no idea what I’m talking about, what they are, or how to maintain