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Here’s to a happy new year with Healthy Boundaries

Protecting mental health as a new habit

The holidays are over and the focus has now pivoted to New Years’ Resolutions. Rather than resolutions that you’ll abandon in the first 2 months, instead, let’s focus on healthy boundaries and habits that support good mental health.

Why are boundaries so important?

Think of your mental health like a well-being bank account. Every “yes” to an obligation, every sacrifice of your needs, is a withdrawal. Demands can quickly drain that account, leaving you depleted and vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and even depression. Boundaries, in essence, are like deposits – they replenish your reserves and ensure you have enough to navigate the year’s roller coaster of emotions.

Setting your boundaries:

  • Know your limits: Identify your triggers. Assess how many “spoons” you have, (We have a blog coming with more on Spoon Theory soon!)
  • Communicate clearly: Don’t expect loved ones to read your mind. Be upfront about your needs and limitations.  Just remember, you are the only one who knows what you can and cannot handle.
  • Learn to say no: It’s okay to decline invitations, delegate tasks, or adjust traditions. Remember, “no” isn’t selfish; it’s self-preservation.
  • Prioritize self-care: Schedule time for activities that recharge your batteries – walks in nature, meditation, reading, anything that brings you peace. Don’t let self-care be the first thing sacrificed.

Enforcing your boundaries:

  • Be assertive: Stand firm in your decisions, even if it means repeating yourself or facing disapproving looks. Remember, your well-being is non-negotiable.
  • Set consequences: Sometimes, clear consequences are necessary. “If the conversation turns negative, I will need to take a break” can help guide interactions.
  • Don’t apologize: You don’t need to justify your boundaries. A simple “This is what I need to do for myself right now” is enough.
  • Remember, it’s not personal: Setting boundaries isn’t about distancing yourself from loved ones; it’s about protecting your own well-being so you can truly enjoy the time you spend together.

Bonus tips:

  • Delegate tasks. Don’t be a martyr! Spread the workload and enjoy the shared responsibilities.
  • Focus on quality time, not quantity. Prioritize meaningful conversations and genuine connection over social pressure and forced merriment.
  • Embrace new traditions. Make this year your own. Create meaningful rituals that nourish your soul, not your stress levels.
  • Be kind to yourself. Things are rarely perfect. Accept mishaps, forgive yourself, and focus on enjoying the moments.

Remember, prioritizing your mental health is not selfish, it’s essential. This year, let’s redefine expectations and thrive with boundaries, self-care, and a healthy dose of “no.”

Happy New Year (with healthy boundaries)!

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