Overwhelm and burnout. Ever been there? I think we all have at one time or another. It comes from not having set clear boundaries. Trying to be all things to all people will do it in a heartbeat. We weren’t meant for that. Let’s talk about just what setting boundaries means.
What is your purpose here on Earth? What has God created you and put you here to do? Do you know or have an idea? Well, first and foremost, we are to love Him and our neighbors. Then, we have to love ourselves. We have to figure out what our purpose is. We all have one, whether it is wife, mother, secretary, writer or whatever. (I’m using myself as an example.). Our purpose can change over time. We aren’t necessarily stuck in the same one, because we, as people, should always be changing and growing. But, we can’t be ALL things to ALL people, so we need to set some boundaries. Sometimes, we need to say no to the demands that others may put on us, to the demands we sometimes put on ourselves.
Boundaries are healthy. They keep us sane when life gets out of control. But we have to sit down and work them out in our heads to know what we can and can’t do. We have to prioritize how we want our life to look, what is important to us.
In my blogging business, I post a lot to social media. That doesn’t mean I can sit all day on my phone or computer and scroll through everyone’s posts (although sometimes I do) or I don’t get any of my goals accomplished for the day. I have to set boundaries.
Another one of my boundaries is about cussing. Plain and simple, I don’t do it, and I don’t tolerate it from anyone else who is around me. I use respectful language around others and I expect the same when they are around me. I used to tell people, “I have a bar of soap and I’m not afraid to use it.” My son-in-law learned this when he let the F- word slip in a card game.! lol.
Setting boundaries is good discipline and the good Lord knows, in this day and age, discipline has gone by the wayside. It’s a free for all out there with everyone doing and saying whatever they please.
So let’s talk about some ways you can set boundaries:
1). Determine what you are willing and not willing to do with your time. Write it down on a sheet of paper with your goals. Revisit it often.
2). Set time limits. For me, 1 hour a day on my phone and social media should be plenty. I struggle with this one because it’s easy to get bored watching tv.
3). Don’t let negativity in your sphere. Stay upbeat and positive. Don’t get on the complaining or gossip bandwagon. There is so much to be grateful for. Focus on that.
Your time is yours. Guard it with your life! You only have so many hours in a day and we don’t know how many years we have. When people put demands on you, let them know—‘Your emergency is not my emergency.’ You can serve others, but by setting boundaries, your service is on your terms..
You don’t have to do it all. Prioritize, then set some goals. It’s ok to just let some things go. Yes, discipline is good, but be disciplined in learning to set boundaries for your life so you can fully serve the purpose you were created for.
Quiet time, meditation and prayer are all good for getting a clear head. Spend some quiet time without tv, phone or distractions. I like to sit in my church for 15 minutes or so. I ask God to show me what He wants for my life. I ask for peace and direction. Church is a holy space where I can really focus and connect with Jesus. A lot of Catholic churches are open during the day. (You don’t have to be Catholic to go in and sit and pray.). Try it. Take some paper and a pen.
Here’s what I do: Go in and sit down. Close my eyes. Start praying. Give Jesus everything on my mind. I visualize Him with me in the church and I lay it all at His feet right there in front of the altar. And then, I just sit there in the quiet. He tends to work on me at that point. Ideas will start to flow. I thank Him for all that He has done. Then, I get up and leave. But I leave everything there with Jesus. —All my worries, all my concerns are there with Him. I leave feeling unburdened. It’s amazing how freeing that is. I have to be careful not to try to pick up those burdens again but amazingly they start to work themselves out, one by one. Give it a try and see if it doesn’t work for you.
Thanks for reading! I am so happy to be writing and able to share what I have learned with you. If this has helped you or you would like some additional coaching on setting boundaries, drop me a line, I’m here to help in any way I can.