You are allowed to have boundaries.
You are allowed to set limits on what you can and cannot do.
You are allowed to set standards for how you will be treated and make decisions about your own life.
Whether you're a 20-year-old college student or an 80-year-old retiree, this is true. It's also true whether you're in a relationship or single; whether you work 40 hours a week at an office or have a part-time job while raising kids; whether you live with roommates or by yourself.
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and that includes respecting ourselves.
Going through burnout phases over the years has taught me one valuable lesson - “There’s nothing more important than having time boundaries and learning when to say no”.
Here are some tips I would like to share:
1. Block off time on your calendar.
Have you heard of “Time Blocking”? The best way to use this tool is by blocking off time in advance for things you want to do and then planning around those blocks of time.
For example, if you want to write an article every week but right now there's no space in your schedule for it, block off a few hours each week at 9am on Friday mornings-and don't let anyone else book those slots!
You can use any free calendar app, like Google Calendar. If you’re using an iPhone, you can easily sync your Google Calendar to the Calendar app!
2. Setting boundaries with others
It's important to be aware of your boundaries, but it's also essential to respect the boundaries of others. This is true even if those people are strangers or your co-workers.
Setting boundaries with others can help you avoid conflict and drama, maintain healthy relationships, and ensure everyone gets what they need out of life-whether it's space from you or time with you.
There are many different types of boundaries: physical (like not touching someone), emotional/psychological (like avoiding specific topics) and financial (like paying credit card bills on time).
Here are some examples of how setting appropriate boundaries could help improve your life:
If you have a problem with people making plans with you but then not showing up, set a boundary that says, "I will not make plans with anyone who cancels on me more than once."
If your roommate uses all the hot water in the apartment and leaves it running while they brush their teeth, set a boundary by letting them know that you need equal access to hot water.
3. Setting boundaries for yourself
You are allowed to say no when someone asks you for something that makes you uncomfortable or if they're asking too much of your time. You are also allowed to say yes sometimes and even ask for help if you need it.
You don't have to do everything on your own!
Don't be afraid or ashamed of asking others for what they can offer: whether it's their time or just some moral support in a difficult situation. If something specific makes your day better or easier (like getting coffee with a friend), let them know about it!
4. You can respect your boundaries and still be nice (to yourself).
Respecting your boundaries is good for your wellbeing.
Respecting your boundaries is good for your relationships.
Respecting your boundaries is good for your career.
And if you're anything like me, sometimes it feels like saying no can be difficult  . It may be a struggle especially if you are not used to it, but learning to say “no” is important to ensure your wellbeing needs are met.
So here are some ways to practise saying “no” more often:
When someone asks you to do something, think about the answer before responding.
Ask yourself if you're saying “yes” because it's what your friend wants or what works for you right now - and then act accordingly.
Think of all the times you said “yes” when what you wanted was to say “no”. Then, think about how that made you feel. How could things have been different if you had said “no”?
If there are too many things on your plate, ask them to help out instead!
I hope these tips have helped you to understand the importance of setting boundaries and how to do it. It can be difficult at first, but it becomes much easier once you get used to it.
Remember that respect is essential in any relationship, so try not to forget about yourself when trying to be nice!
About the Author:
Jaslyn Goh is a Sales Specialist at Actxa Wellness delivering employee wellness solutions and elevating teams. She is also the founder (at the age of 20!) of Souley Green, a one-stop online marketplace for all-natural and responsibly made products. A firm believer in making a difference through consuming all-natural products, she has helped build a bridge between ethical companies and conscious consumers. Jaslyn also shares valuable insights and practical tips for enhancing productivity and promoting wellness on her social media channels.
Connect more with Jaslyn Goh here ➡️ linkedin.com/in/jaslyn-goh