Self-Care Week 5
Self-care strategy #5: Boundaries
Everything you see, hear, say, feel, and do each day affects you on a higher energetic level. You are a product of your environment and experiences.
Your thoughts, actions and reactions are the reason you are where you are right now.
The influence a positive (or negative) surrounding has on you, your life, your trajectory is vastly underestimated by the general population. And believe it or not, you have complete control of what you see, hear, say, feel and do.
So why do we allow ourselves exposures to negativity, toxicity, things that steal our joy....?
Self-care is boundary setting. And I'm not talking about building walls.
I mean setting and maintaining firm boundaries that allow you to have a metaphorical mime-box around you. An X-men power shield that keeps physical, verbal, and emotional threats (or time sucks or negativity) out of your sacred safe space and off your course and your life's trajectory...
You have the ability to to set and maintain this type of self-care thru boundary setting.
Now this concept can be VERY foreign for many. If you're one of those, please keep reading.
Okay, so boundaries at work...
Many of you (I'm looking at you Bay Area) are in jobs/careers/startups that frown upon healthy boundaries. Companies giving you perk after perk after perk to seemingly keep you satisfied while you're at work the entirety of your waking hours. Or worse yet, job descriptions and responsibilities that couldn't possibly be attainable or a work schedule, so demanding that its (unknowingly) served along with (an unwanted) side of insomnia and hypercortisolism (stress hormone). Setting firm and self-respecting boundaries in the workplace is necessary to have the TIME for self-care.
And don't underestimate how you are affected by the energies of those you work with. After all, some say we we are the combination of the five people with whom we spend the most time. Law of averages says, at least three of those five are colleagues.
With energy, keep in mind your Xmen power shield can only block so much. From your boss with the constant negative self-talk projecting on you to those at work who are grabbing a drink as early as 'reasonable' (it's 5 o'clock somewhere?) to cope with the stressridden work environment - the modern 'day at the office' is all too often a root cause of many of my patients' depressed mood, difficulty concentrating or most common: anxiety.
We need to spend the bulk of our time in a space the respects self-care, nurtures work-life balance, and values individual's needs.
If you have too much trauma or drama coming from your office life, its likely you need some serious tweaks in your boundary setting. And remember, that's what the Human Resources (or People Ops, these days) department is for - to support you.
If you have attempted to work at improving boundaries in your workplace to no avail, you have to make a change - because if you change nothing, nothing will change. Choose a workplace that cares about workplace culture.
And then there's family, how to draw a line in the sand with those you love most??
As I mentioned in week 4, in adulthood, setting boundaries with family can be a crucial component of self-care. You must surround yourself with people who cheer you on, bring you joy, and aren't tearing you down, whether conscious or unconscious on their part.
Unfortunately we are all flawed and sometimes family can be an enormous source of negativity and toxicity in our lives. Steals our joy and diverts us from our path, our potential. They don't (usually) mean to, but separating yourself with your Xman shield (did I mention its invisible but super powerful) is self-care that allows you to fill yourself up before being forced to pour from your very empty cup.
And I get it, there this notion that we have to be eternally available and responsible for meeting our family's needs, whether such needs be physical, emotional, realistic or attainable. But if providing this level of availability or care for family interferes with our ability to function, breaks boundaries, or doesn't allow for maintaining a sacred safe space in which we provide ourselves with care, it probably involves poor boundary setting.
And last but not least, what are you choosing to allow inside that super safe sacred space behind the shield that is flat out toxic?
..a relationship in which you aren't respected
..a media or pop culture obsession that breeds negativity
..a rumination on a 'failure'
..a self-critic takeover
Know that you may also have to create boundaries with YOURSELF. By choosing to remove toxicities from your life actively and adamantly.
Because no matter how many juice cleanses you do, unless you address energetic detoxification and boundary setting, you wont feel clean, whole, or self-cared for.
Take care of you by exhaling negativity and inhaling positivity. Plucking out the nonsense that you've allowed in or are participating in.
Do self-care by blocking with boundaries and making sure to cleanse everything you take in. Over time, you'll be feeling oh so fresh and so clean.