How Setting Boundaries can Help you Relax
By: Nicole Pyles
Nicole Pyles is a writer living in the Pacific Northwest. She currently works as a Blog Tour Manager for WOW! Women on Writing. Her writing has been featured in WOW! Women on Writing, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, The Voices Project, and Restless Magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @BeingTheWriter.
While this may not be the time of year you want to hear it, we all need to relax more. With everyone working more, tragedies happening all around the world that impact us deeply, and everything else we juggle day-to-day in life, it's no wonder we're all exhausted and sleepless. Yet, for the benefit of our overall wellbeing, it's important to sit back, relax, and not do so much anymore. But where do you start? It can begin with one small thing – setting boundaries. Here are a few places to start:
Stop working during off-time.
Thanks to our smartphones, we're all connected to our responsibilities 24/7. If you are trying to relax more, disconnect completely on the weekends. Remove your work email off your phone or turn off notifications until Monday. If the idea of disconnecting sounds impossible, disconnect at least one day of the week, like Sunday. Also, really ask yourself if you need to reply to that email and if this person can wait for the next work day.
Ask for help.
It can be easier said than done when it comes to asking for help. Yet, if you know you are at your limit, there is no shame in speaking up. If you aren’t sure how you need help, start journaling. This will help you with coping skills and process stress better. Write out what you are currently dealing with and what stresses you out the most. Identify ways you can relieve yourself of the burden or make something simpler.
Cut down on social media.
It goes without saying that what is going on in the world is immensely troubling. While it is important to stay in touch with current events, it can add to already existing stress. Start small by turning off notifications. If you have a particular friend that overshares their personal woes or overshares bad news, consider muting them for a while on Facebook. If that sounds too harsh, consider reserving your time on social media (or reading news articles) once or twice a week. Or schedule it for a particular time of day, rather than off and on all day. This is especially important if you are going through a stressful time yourself.
Understand your own needs.
The most important thing is understanding your own needs. You may have no problems being exposed to social media, and you may have no issues with reading email on the weekends. Only you can understand what your biggest need is at this moment. Maybe you need more alone time. Maybe you need to start taking advantage of grocery delivery services so you spend less time in the store. Maybe you need your family to stick to a budget. Whatever you need right now to reduce stress and relax more, get to know what that need is and vocalize it. Most of all, be sure you follow through.
Setting boundaries isn't always easy and it's a skill that often escapes us. However, by learning how to set boundaries and easing the stresses in your life, you will find that you are able to relax more.