Boundaries & Self-Care

As a mindset transformation coach and internal medicine physician, I want to share an essential piece of my journey. This led me to embrace the power of setting boundaries and, in turn, discover the profound act of self-care. Let’s dive in.

Saying “No” is not Mean

“Saying no is not mean. It’s setting boundaries. Setting boundaries is self-care.”

This mantra became my guiding light as I navigated the challenging terrain of infertility. During this time, I remember turning to my husband and saying, “It’s time to set some ground rules about what we share with our family.”

Infertility is a journey that demands our total emotional bandwidth. This leaves little room for external opinions. Setting boundaries with family, although essential, can be a delicate dance. It’s easy for others to perceive it as hurtful or confrontational. We often establish boundaries abruptly after years of allowing negative energy to dictate our emotions.

In our decision to stop pursuing IVF rounds and ground ourselves in gratitude for what we already had, we approached our families with transparency. We explained our choices. We politely listened to any questions or opinions and then compartmentalized them. This allowed us to move forward with our lives.

You May Get Pushback

I encountered resistance when I began setting boundaries.

At first, guilt weighed on me due to my ingrained habit of putting others first. Yet, the guilt dissipated as I gained self-confidence by tuning into my feelings.

Now, I surround myself with people who respect my boundaries and validate my emotions. Stopping people-pleasing is no walk in the park. It takes work, commitment to oneself, and consistent practice. Yet, the rewards are profound. Removing negativity and radiating confidence are within your grasp.

So how do you do it? Here are some tips.

Boundary Tips for Family

Learn to compartmentalize. Don’t wait to express a boundary until you’re on the brink of an explosion.

Prioritize your mental health without hesitation. Consider it self care.

Learn to compartmentalize

Put things into a box and move forward—this mantra holds the key to a happier life.

Mindset is medicine.

Setting boundaries is not an act of meanness but an essential form of self-care.

In South Asian culture, there’s a prevailing notion that we owe our parents sacrifices for their comfort, to impress their friends, and to fulfill their desires. Yet, the reality is that we owe it to ourselves to live in contentment.

We are becoming the best versions of ourselves and offering love in abundance.

Don’t wait

Identify what you’re comfortable with and what you aren’t BEFORE you explode. This can be emotional, physical, or mental limits. Take note of situations that make you feel uncomfortable or drained.

Once you’ve identified your limits, communicate them clearly to the relevant people. Be assertive, but respectful in your communication.

Remember that it’s okay to say no.

Prioritize your mental health

It’s not enough to just set boundaries; you have to enforce them too. If someone oversteps a boundary, let them know and take necessary action to protect your boundaries.

Expressing and holding boundaries need not be confrontational or negative. Feeling uneasy or nervous about setting boundaries is okay—it’s not easy. But the feeling that follows- the boost in self-esteem and the surge of self-confidence- makes it all worthwhile.

Consider it Self-Care

Setting boundaries is a form of self-care.

It’s about respecting and taking care of your needs. Make sure to prioritize self-care and do things that help you recharge and stay healthy. If you’re finding it difficult to set or maintain boundaries, consider seeking support from a professional. They can provide guidance and strategies to help you navigate this process.

Make it a practice to set boundaries in every aspect of your life. At work, in friendships, with family, and most importantly with yourself.

So, let’s stop doing it for them and start doing it for ourselves. Boundaries are a gift we give ourselves. They are a powerful declaration of self-love and a crucial step towards a life filled with contentment and joy.



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