Fall Season, Spirituality, Setting Boundaries for Self-Care
Setting Boundaries is to say “No” to people and activities that drain your emotions and energy. It’s a self-care practice. Cutting toxic people from your life is a wellness essential, which requires strengths and support sometimes. Fall is a season of change, the shedding of the leaves, the cold breeze, and the longer nights. Deaths bring new lives. Losses bring hope. The cycle of life goes on. My children were born in the Fall, and my aunts also passed in the Fall.
Fall is a good time for reflection, learning to embrace the “light” and the “darkness” within us. The “light” is the higher power we know that is guiding our path. The “darkness” is the circumstances that we cannot control. It’s time for us to let go of what we cannot control, accept ourselves, hold our pain, and trust the process designed by the higher power.
How to Set Boundaries
Explore who and what is making you uncomfortable and emotional off-balance. Are you resentful towards somebody’s demand? Do you feel imposed to do something? Do you feel being violated or taken advantage of? That negative energy is blocking you from functioning properly. Identify the need for healthy boundaries that give both you and others respect.
2. Defining Your Boundaries
Value your mental health. You have to right to say “No.”
- You have a right to say no without guilt.
- You have a right to be treated respectfully.
- You have a right to put your needs on par with someone else’s.
- You have a right to accept your mistakes and flaws.
- You have a right to reject other people's unreasonable expectations.
Explain to the other person why you have to set the boundaries if you can. A frenemy might insist on staying at your house while visiting in town, which you would rather not. You might want to say, “I feel uncomfortable with you staying at my place….” Or just tell her indirectly, such as “Maybe you can stay at a hotel...My place is under construction.” Be positive and offer alternatives to the other person of the new boundary.
3. Enforce it consistently
Be assertive and firm with your boundaries with the other person. Explain your reason to the other person for the boundary. For example, you might say, “I don’t want you to call me every day talking about the same issue that I already gave you the advice.” Suppose they do not respect your boundaries and repeatedly violate the rules. Then you should cut them off to protect your sanity. Be mindful, healthy boundaries are meant for creating healthy relationships, not for controlling the other person.
What are examples of setting boundaries?
Boundaries one needs to be mindful of are not only emotional. It can be materials, physical, sexual, mental, and spiritual.
Someone uses resources that you own that you rather not oversharing. Communicate expectations and feelings of sharing your resources will help with the relationship.
Objects and spaces that you own. For example, someone was going through your drawer without your permission.
Sexual demands that one is not comfortable with performing. Be assertive with your stands and do allow abusive behaviors.
Everyone is allowed to have his own beliefs and values. Break away from limiting believes when you establish your authentic self.
Everyone experiences the higher power in their ways. Trust your own experience, and also respect others’ freedom of choice in spirituality.
What are healthy boundaries?
“Healthy boundaries are those boundaries that are set to make sure mentally and emotionally you are stable” (Prism Health North Texas, n.d.). Another way to think about it is that “Our boundaries might be rigid, loose, somewhere in between, or even nonexistent. A complete lack of boundaries may indicate that we don’t have a strong identity or are enmeshed with someone else” (Cleantis, 2017).
A healthy boundary relieves one from unnecessary stress and possible health issues down the line. Simply decline from the responsibilities of being everyone’s savor, and put your health first. Say “No” to demands that affect your mental health and well-being. Instead, invest more time and energy to nurture yourself. Practice more self-care through journaling, meditation, exercising, volunteering, spending time outdoors, and putting more joy in your life.
Fill your cup first often this Fall season.