I’m sure you have heard that everything you want is on the other side of fear. Well, I am here to say that may be true but even if you conquer your fear, you need boundaries to accomplish your goal. In the season we are in, our Boundaries are critical, especially now. We are bombarded with media, conversations about the very real things going on in our world, and an abundance of opportunities to do things, watch this, or listen to that. Since we are at home more than before it may seem that we don’t need boundaries, but we need boundaries more than ever.
Sometimes figuring out our priorities can be difficult, especially in a pandemic. I have actually done lots of work on my personal boundaries and find that when a shift in my life happens, like COVID, I have to re-establish boundaries and re-learn how I need to proceed in my new normal. Since I realized this through several messages, including my Sunday sermon from Hope City, I thought I would share some tips for establishing boundaries in our new normal.
- Recognize and acknowledge you are in a new season- Our entire paradigm has shifted this year. What worked for self-care before may not work now. What you need now, may look different from what you needed before. Recognizing your new season is part of figuring out what your boundaries need to look like.
- Focus on what inspires you- This year has been difficult. We have dealt with a pandemic, racial injustice, natural and man-made disasters, etc. and the year isn’t over, I have to depend on something that is stable. And for me, that is my faith in God. During this entire season, I have had to depend on my faith more than ever. We also have to be mindful of listening, watching, and talking to people who inspire us and help us when things are difficult.
- Examine your thoughts- Not every thought we think is our own and sometimes we have to put boundaries up with our thinking. Are we being overly critical of ourselves, of others? Do we see mostly negative outcomes, without considering a positive one? Are we constantly comparing ourselves to others, without realizing they may have struggles? Examining our thoughts helps us become aware of our thinking and make changes when we are thinking about things that aren’t helpful.
- Be ok with saying no- It doesn’t matter if its a tv show you don’t want to watch, a phone call you don’t have time to take or an event you aren’t comfortable attending. Say no and know that No is a complete sentence. This doesn’t give us a right to be spiteful but saying no to things we don’t really want to do can actually be respectful. I’ve always heard that if you give a no, you have to be able to take a no. Allow others to put up boundaries without taking offense.
- Create a Schedule- Even if you had a schedule prior to COVID, it may need to be adjusted. Having a schedule doesn’t mean life is boring, it means you make time for things you really want to do instead of not having time for what matters most.
Boundaries are so important for our well being during this season we are in. The better we are at boundary setting, they more efficient and productive we can be in our lives. What boundaries have you set for yourself?