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Welcome to The Expressive Mom Show! I’m Miriam Rachel, your host, and I am thrilled to be here with you today. I am a Canadian mother, author, wife, freelance writer, astrologer, psychic medium, and tarot reader. My journey has taken me through various experiences and roles, from SEO consultant to social media manager.

But my passion for writing and connecting with others has always remained at the core of who I am. I am the jill of all trades. Today, I have a special solo episode focusing on an important topic: the importance of boundaries for self-care and mental health. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s crucial to establish healthy boundaries to protect our well-being and maintain our mental and emotional balance. So, let’s dive right in and discuss boundaries.

Boundaries are the limits we set for ourselves and communicate to others about what is acceptable and what isn’t in our relationships, interactions, and daily lives. They serve as guidelines that protect our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Setting boundaries is essential for self-care and mental health because it helps us control our lives. Clear boundaries create a safe space to prioritize our needs, protect energy, and develop healthy relationships.

How to Set Healthy Boundaries?

So, how can we start setting healthy boundaries? First, it’s essential to identify our limits and needs. Reflect on what makes you uncomfortable, what drains your energy, and what you need to feel safe and secure. This self-awareness will provide a foundation for establishing your boundaries.

Next, it’s crucial to communicate your boundaries effectively. Clearly express your limits to those around you, whether it’s your friends, family, or colleagues. Remember, setting boundaries isn’t about controlling others but taking responsibility for your well-being.

One aspect of boundary-setting often overlooked is learning to say “no” without feeling guilty. Many of us tend to overcommit and please others at the expense of our own needs. However, saying “no” when necessary is a powerful act of self-care. Remember, you don’t have to explain or justify your boundaries to anyone.

Here is the thing. As briefly discussed in the pilot episode last week, I used to be an echoist, a pathological people pleaser, because I was shunned in my youth. Of course, I was desperate for acceptance. However, after facing a catalyst that meant either I make a life-altering and painful decision that would go against societal expectations or keep my life hanging on the line, that broke me out of my echoism. And yes, I will elaborate on that soon, as promised.

However, if you need help setting boundaries, you want to avoid getting into that situation where you face a tower moment to knock you out of it. If you are into tarot, I do have a book called Overcoming Echoism with Tarot: Using Tarot for Boundary Setting and Stopping People-Pleasing that will give you insight on how to use tarot for self-reflection when it comes to why you struggle with people-pleasing and setting boundaries.

An Example of Having to Set Boundaries

However, aside from that, let’s review an example of a situation where you must set boundaries. Imagine you have a co-worker who consistently interrupts you while you are trying to focus on your work. They often come by your desk and engage in lengthy conversations, distracting you from your tasks and causing a decline in your productivity. This pattern has been ongoing, affecting your ability to meet deadlines and perform at your best.

In this scenario, setting a boundary with your co-worker would be significant. You could approach the situation by:

1. Choosing the right time and place: Find a suitable time and private space to converse with your co-worker. This allows for a calm and uninterrupted discussion where both parties can express their thoughts.

2. Communicating your needs: Clearly express how their interruptions are impacting your work. While you value their friendship and enjoy conversations, you need uninterrupted time to focus and complete your tasks efficiently.

3. Setting the boundary: State your boundary respectfully. For example, ask your co-workers to limit interruptions during specific periods of the day or request that they schedule a time to talk when you are available.

4. Offering alternatives: Suggest alternative ways to maintain a friendly connection, such as meeting during designated break times or after work to catch up and chat.

5. Reinforcing the boundary: If the interruptions continue despite your initial conversation, kindly remind your co-worker of the boundary you discussed and reiterate the importance of respecting your need for uninterrupted work time.

Setting this boundary communicates your needs and expectations while maintaining a respectful and professional relationship with your co-workers. It allows you to protect your time and productivity, ensuring that you can perform at your best in the workplace. Remember, setting boundaries is about advocating for your well-being and maintaining healthy boundaries in all aspects of your life. That is only one example, but it is an easy one. When it comes to setting boundaries regarding your family and even friends, it is not as simple as that.

Set Boundaries In Your Digital Life

Another thing to realize is that boundaries play a crucial role in our digital lives. With the constant presence of technology, setting boundaries around our screen time and online interactions is essential. Establish specific times for unplugging, limit social media usage, and create tech-free zones in your home. These digital boundaries can significantly impact our mental well-being and overall balance.

Set Boundaries When It Comes to Red Flags

Another vital aspect of boundary-setting is being aware of red flags in relationships. As I said, boundary-setting could be challenging for family, friends, or your significant other. If your partner, friend, or family member consistently disrespects your boundaries or tries to manipulate or control you, it’s essential to reassess the relationship. You may have to break off toxic romantic relationships and friendships and even go with no contact with family members as a last resort, which is very challenging to do. That is why I said it as a last resort. Try low contact before cutting all ties.

The truth is that you want to surround yourself with people who respect and support your boundaries, as they are crucial for maintaining healthy connections.

Finally, it’s important to remember that setting boundaries is an ongoing process. As we grow and change, our boundaries may evolve as well. I’d like you to reassess your boundaries and regularly make adjustments when necessary. Remember, boundaries are not fixed or rigid; they can adapt to our changing needs.

As we wrap up today’s episode, I encourage you to reflect on your boundaries and how they impact your self-care and mental health. Take small steps towards setting and communicating your limits, and remember that it’s okay to prioritize your well-being.

Thank you for joining me on this solo episode of The Expressive Mom Show. I hope this discussion on the importance of boundaries has been insightful and empowering. Next week, I will dive into self-care, as boundary setting is one aspect of it. However, the focus will be on creating a self-care routine. Please remember to take care of yourself and prioritize your mental health. Until next time, take care and be well.

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