Setting boundaries with yourself
The most important barriers to bolster are within. As a society we like to live in excess, and it can be difficult to rein in those instincts and figure out what is best for our physical and mental health. But exercising self-control is important; it gives us the freedom to make our own decisions and therefore bolster our sense of self-worth.
There’s nothing worse than gorging on something you know is bad for you and then feeling guilty about it afterwards. Harnessing the power to say ‘no’ can be incredibly emboldening: as Psychotherapist Stephanie Roth Goldberg says, “if you don’t set boundaries, you end up doing a lot of things you don’t want to be doing and other people end up draining a lot of your energy and time.”
Setting boundaries with friends
As humans, we are naturally empathetic. This is an important cornerstone in every relationship, but we also have to be careful not to bear the burden of other people’s issues and sideline your own emotional needs.
The pandemic has added extra stress and uncertainty to all of our lives, and it’s therefore ever more important to think about what is good for you and what is going to make you happy in the long run, rather than toiling away at ensuring other people’s happiness first.
“When we have unhealthy boundaries, we end up feeling like we have to hold everyone else’s feelings but our own, and that leads to resentment, anger, anxiety, depression, and stress,” says psychologist Babita Spinelli.
If a friend or partner is testing your boundaries or pushing them, then it’s important to consider how healthy that relationship is for your mental health.
Respecting other people’s boundaries
All relationships should be a two-way street; if you are giving or taking more than the other person then you must re-establish some kind of healthy balance. Consider whether you are draining someone else’s emotional resources and disrespecting their boundaries. Doing so will help bolster your own.