Often we will say yes to things we wish we said no to. And every time this happens you are saying no to something else, possibly something more important than what you’ve said yes to (like your mental health). In this blog, you will learn how to set boundaries to benefit your mental health.
It’s time to reframe our idea of boundaries. It’s time to feel confident when you set limits in your life. It’s time to put yourself first and this is about saying no to things.
It’s okay to say no to things, it really is!
Every no has a yes attached to it & every yes has a no attached to it. When you say no to something you’re actually saying yes to something else.
Here’s an example:
Say your friend invites you out for lunch and you say yes to that lunch date. You’re now saying no to something else whether that is your time, doing something for yourself, or maybe something work-related. And if you say no to that lunch date then you are saying yes to something else. Does that make sense?
If that lunch date is something you actually want then that’s great! We need to be making sure our yes’s are 100% yes’s and nothing less.
If you are saying yes to things you’re not 100% about, with no filter then you’re likely saying no to yourself quite a bit. And this is typically the case for women because we are very much caretakers and feel a need to say yes to everything.
What do you want to say yes to? Be specific! Make a list of all of those things. Do you want to say yes to connecting with friends? Yes, to more self-care? More alone time? List them out!
Rule of Thumb: If it’s not a 100% yes, it has to be a no.
Now, make a list of all the things you want to say no to. Maybe it’s a no to extra tasks at work, or a no to one of those ‘drive-by’ birthdays (pandemic birthday). Whatever you don’t want to do, whatever is not a 100% yes write it down, make the list.
And finally, stick to your lists! Keep them close by, review them often and remember to stick to these boundaries or limits in your life.
If we don’t stick to our boundaries there can be consequences. The consequences are feelings of resentment, dread, or we bail. And when we bail often, we build up a reputation of someone who is constantly flaky and that’s not good.
If you’re yes is not 100%, here are some ideas on what you could respond with…
- “Let me check my schedule and get back to you.”
- “I have to say no but if that changes I will let you know.”
Stay away from maybes – as most kids will tell you, a maybe is just an invitation to convince a yes. Stick with a yes or a no, no maybe’s!
REMINDER: We all have limits, we are not limitless. It’s okay to set boundaries.
And one of the most important benefits of setting boundaries is having better relationships. Often we are scared to set these boundaries because we are afraid to hurt someone else. But when we set boundaries…
- We are telling the people around us where we stand
- They know that our yes means something
- We become a person of our word (which is REALLY important).
So do yourself a favour and set some limits in your life because YOU deserve it.