• Tamara Dias

Do I Need Better Boundaries?

I first explored the topic of boundaries when I read: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Within just a few pages of the book, I knew that I needed to learn to say “no” more in my own life. I also knew that my boundaries were pretty nonexistent and needed a complete overhaul.

With years spent as a classroom teacher, I knew that I had very little understanding of how to establish boundaries. When I chose teaching as a career, it was consistently enforced that I would be tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. The idea of burnout wasn’t hard to fathom, because burnout and teacher were almost synonymous with one another. Naturally, once I noticed myself reaching that space or exhaustion, I figured it was acceptable.

It wasn’t.

I needed to learn how to say “no”. I needed to prioritize my self-care. I needed to know when to clock out of work and clock into time for rest. Essentially, I needed to push beyond the unhealthy habits that were acceptable and radically implement a system to ensure my own wellness.

Yep. I needed boundaries.

I talk often about the importance of boundaries, how to set boundaries, and strategies to check if boundaries are working for you. I spend so much time on this topic, because I know it’s an area where so many people struggle. We overextend ourselves everyday, leaving zero time to invest in the things that are important to us. If we want to be around to enjoy our lives, we can’t live without boundaries.

For all of my newbies, here’s a few ways to evaluate if you need boundaries:

  1. Do you often find yourself doing tasks/activities that you don’t want to do? You signed up for that webinar or you agreed to go to an event - but you really wish you’d stayed at home instead.

  2. Do you feel resentment or feel like people take advantage of you? When we don’t know not to say no, we often find ourselves always saying yes. This can easily lead to feeling resentful towards those around us.

  3. Do you feel in touch with your needs? If we are always focused on everyone else’s needs, we easily neglect our own. We don’t know what we need if we only reflect and prioritize the needs of everyone else.

Bonus: Are you involved in toxic relationships? Toxic relationships drain our energy, time, and other resources. If we constantly find ourselves in a revolving door of toxic relationships (personal and professional), this is a clear sign we need boundaries.

If any of these questions were relevant for you and where you are in life, then I definitely suggest taking a few moments to pause and reflect on setting boundaries in your life. Establishing boundaries can make a world of difference in our overall health and the ways we care for ourselves.

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