Inner Boundaries are So De-Stressing

Your time is yours
Inner boundaries protect your time.

What are inner boundaries?

I can’t overstate the importance of setting boundaries. They help you set aside time and space so that others won’t needlessly interrupt your personal time choices.

We all need to find ways to set and negotiate boundaries at work and at home to get tasks accomplished. But perhaps even more difficult and important, are the challenges of setting inner boundaries.

These are the boundaries that help us stay on track and keep us from sabotaging our own time choices.

Why You Need Inner Boundaries:

Let’s say you’re feeling overwhelmed and you’ve decided you need more time for yourself in order to relax and reduce your stress. But you also know that you have a tendency to give in to requests from family and friends. When you do that, the time you’ve tried to create for yourself will slip through your fingers.

When that happens, you feel like you’ve not stood up for yourself. The message you take in is that, ultimately, you aren’t in your own corner. As a result, your stress actually increases.

So, try these two steps…

Here’s an idea to help you create and maintain inner boundaries. As you practice and become skilled at this you’ll be able to give yourself what you need without hurting anyone’s feelings OR creating regrets of your own.

Be Specific

It’s of prime importance, when creating and setting inner boundaries, to be as specific as possible. This makes your boundary concrete and increases the likelihood of your maintaining it.

So, resolving to “have more time for yourself” is too vague. You’ll find it far too easy to say “yes” to others’ requests. Then you’ll realize, too late, that you’ve forfeited the time you’d wanted for yourself.

The best inner boundaries include enough detail to make them real for you. So, if you want to take more time for yourself to reduce your stress, really spell it out clearly. Specify the day and time. Have a specific plan for what you will do with the time you set aside.

This clear picture not only solidifies your commitment. It also will help remind you, very specifically, of what you’ll be giving up if you don’t maintain your inner boundaries. A good way to stake out some boundaried time is to examine your existing commitments and then schedule your personal time. The inner boundary you end up establishing may sound something like this: 

“This year, I will take time to myself, every Tuesday between 1:00 and 3:00 PM, to go someplace comfortable and quiet to enjoy one of the novels that I’ve been wanting to read.”

Now, if someone asks you to do something between 1:00 and 3:00 PM on Tuesday, you know precisely what you’ll be giving up, or what’s at stake. Establishing specific inner boundaries tells you that you actively value your goal of lowering your overall stress level. If you possess a strong incentive to follow through on your commitment, it is much easier to safeguard your personal time in the face of others’ demands.

Let Others Know

As soon as you have arrived at a decision, put it on your calendar and notify your family, your coworkers, and anyone else who needs to know about your new commitment. Explain that you will not be available on Tuesday afternoons unless an emergency arises. When given advance notice, most people will respect your parameters.

Recording your new boundary on your calendar helps keep you from inadvertently sabotaging your own plans. Honoring your priorities through establishing and maintaining inner boundaries will strengthen your self-confidence and help you make sure that you can find time for what matters most.

And here’s more help…

How often do distractions and interruptions pull you off track? If you feel thwarted by some of your own choices, learn to support yourself by setting and maintaining meaningful inner boundaries.  My complimentary Inner Boundary Checklist is designed to help you do just that.  Find time for what truly matters to you.

Are you ready to empower yourself? Use this powerful Checklist with 15 simple steps to set and maintain strong, clear internal boundaries. The Inner Boundary Checklist helps you follow through on what you say you will do. Click this link to give yourself this complimentary tool today!

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