The Importance Of Setting Healthy Boundaries

For those of us living with chronic illness (and really for everyone) it’s very important to set healthy boundaries. Taking the first step can seem hard and scary because for most us, the illness in on the inside of you, no visible or noticeable signs of being ill which can make it easy for others to forget.

Taking time for yourself to focus on you is crucial when it comes to your health journey. In doing so, it will require setting realistic expectations for yourself and managing the expectations that others have set for you. Our family and friends don’t mean us any harm, they just want to spend time with us and/or do things they used to be able to do with you. They may simply wish things were back to normal. However, when we fail to set those boundaries we end up maxed out, lacking the energy we need in order to focus on the things that are important to us. We become out of balance. Sound familiar?

Living out of balance for someone who is living with a chronic illness can lead to a relapse in your health. You may begin to experience:

  • Flare up of symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Poor appetite
  • Isolation
  • Lack of energy
  • Weight loss or Weight gain
  • Emotional strain
  • Hospitalization
  • And more!

So what does setting healthy boundaries look like practically? Well I’m glad you asked! Below are a few that I came up with that are personal to me that I have been working to implement, but I would love to hear what things you have put in place that helps you.

  • Saying “No” to the things you need to say no to
  • Learning to identify when your body is telling you to slow down
  • Set aside personal time just for you (Put in on the calendar)
    • Day at the spa
    • Exercise
    • Read a book
    • Take a nap
    • Go for a walk
    • Sit outside and get some sun
    • Do absolutely nothing!
    • Did I say take a nap? Hahaha! (You may noticed, I really love naps)
  • Communicate: Let your family and close friends know that setting boundaries is important for your overall health (They will understand…they love you)!

I think it’s also important to take baby steps. Don’t try to do it all at once. Pick one thing to focus on that you want to implement. See how that feels after a few weeks then consider layering on something else until you’ve developed a good habit of making time for yourself. The goal is for you to take the time you need each day to focus on you so you can put the best version of yourself forward. If you’re tired and overwhelmed, that can lead to a setback in your health. My doctor once told me that rest is super important to allow my body time to heal itself. If I keep going and going and going…well that won’t be good for me so I am committed to doing what I need to do to promote healing in my mind, body and soul.

I would love to hear what’s working for you; send me a little note or comment below. You may be doing something that might help me in my journey. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Until next time…

WJC

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