top of page

Setting Boundaries to Support Self Care

It's time to put a stop to feeling overwhelmed, unseen, and compromising your self care. Setting healthy boundaries can have many benefits, one of which is helping you make decisions based on what is best for you, not just the people around you. BUT, a lack of healthy boundaries can negatively affect all aspects of your life. It can show up as relationship issues, overbooked schedules, and financial burdens.

Boundaries come up a lot in our coaching work at Health Navigators and it has become apparent that no matter how hard someone may try to implement lifestyle changes, without the ability to set healthy boundaries, self care can become more and more difficult to prioritize, implement, and maintain. 

A boundary will help you define what you are comfortable with and how you will accept being treated by others.

~Joanne Trotta, Leaders Edge


Feeling overwhelmed, busy, dissatisfied, and resentful are a result of having a boundary crossed, whether we realize it or not. When setting boundaries, it is important to realize that it is no one else’s job to maintain and respect our boundaries. We are responsible for that through our choices and communication.

It is important to consider different aspects of our lives and check in to see if the boundaries we have set are supportive of our health and self care. If not, how comfortable are we with setting boundaries in each situation?

Areas to set Boundaries -  

  • Partner and Immediate Family - When adopting self-care routines, the people we live with have a big impact on our success. Whether it's adopting a new diet, schedule, or routine, we need to identify and set boundaries with the ones closest to us when it comes to household responsibilities and asking for their support. 

  • Parents, Friends, and Social Circle - When living with a diagnosis, many people will have opinions about treatment choices. These opinions can wreak havoc on our emotional stability. When others weigh-in on topics where their thoughts only confuse and aggravate us, we need to take action. If this is the case, setting boundaries with those loved ones is crucial. We can include them into our life, but only in ways that feel supportive. 

  • Medical Team - Many people have several practitioners on their medical team. At times there can be conflicting opinions, or we may not always be open to receiving all the treatment options being offered. We are the CEO of our own health. We are the decision-makers and sometimes that requires some firm boundaries to be set. What we do and do not want to discuss with specific practitioners, what information we’d like to hear from them (no prognosis stats please!), and what treatments we share with our different practitioners is our choice. 

  • Work and Purpose - Some people struggle with boundaries around work hours and commitments, and others may dive into a hobby or project so deeply that it can impact time for self care practices. Set boundaries here to protect this sacred time each day. 

  • Ourselves - This is the most important one. We need to prioritize our routines so that we can fit in the daily practices that we want to implement. Reflect on the different self care routines to see if they are best practiced daily, every few days or weekly and then protect your time. We may need to say no to other activities, make some concessions, and revisit and tweak the routines regularly if they aren’t working. 

In different kinds of relationships and situations we will have different levels of comfort setting boundaries. While work boundaries may be easy for some, maybe relationship boundaries with parents and family are more difficult. 

There are three traits to describe how we respond to setting boundaries in different areas of our life. Sometimes we have rigid boundaries and other times, more porous ones. The goal is to find a balance to incorporate healthy boundaries in all areas of our lives. 

Traits of How People Set Boundaries

Someone with Rigid Boundaries tends to… 

  • Avoid intimacy and close relationships,

  • Is unlikely to ask for help,

  • Has a few close relationships and at times may seem detached,

  • Can be very protective of personal information,

  • Keep others at a distance to avoid possible rejection.

Someone with Porous Boundaries tends to… 

  • Overshare personal information,

  • Have difficulty saying no to other’s requests,

  • Become over involved in other people’s problems,

  • Rely on others opinions to make decisions,

  • More accepting of negative treatment or disrespect,

  • Fear rejection if they do not comply with others wants.

And the goal is to form and maintain Healthy Boundaries in all areas of our lives.  In the areas where people are comfortable setting boundaries they…

  • Value their own opinions,

  • Don’t compromise their values for others, 

  • Share personal information in an appropriate way (doesn’t over or under share), 

  • Know their own personal wants and needs and can communicate them appropriately,

  • Are accepting of others when they say “no”.

“When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” ~Wayne Dyer

Communicating Boundaries

Boundaries do not have to be communicated strictly or rudely.  Communication is everything. It is not what you say, but HOW you say it. Take time to think through the approach to help it feel less overwhelming. It takes reflection, self-compassion, self-worth, bravery, and some hard work to prepare to find our voice.

When you’re ready to set a boundary, work through these steps:

  • DEFINE IT - identify the boundary to be set

  • COMMUNICATE IT - say what you need to say 

  • KEEP IT SIMPLE - don’t over-explain the details (less is more)

  • SET CONSEQUENCES - share why it is important to you

I know when I began my journey working on boundaries, I had a lot of resistance to the idea. I thought of others in my life with solid boundaries as selfish or mean. It can feel uncomfortable, rude, and easier to put our own desires second, especially for people pleasers. Many people find it easier to just go along with the group because it is less complicated. These are not healthful behaviors. It's important to check in with ourselves and ask “Am I taking care of myself by setting a boundary that is good for me?” or “What boundaries do I avoid setting?” If we want more enjoyment, peace, satisfaction and authentic connection, we’ll want to take notice of when we are tolerating others instead of listening to our own desires. 

Maintaining boundaries with people we love is especially difficult. The other person’s feelings are not our responsibility – but we often feel like they are. If we stay connected to our own feelings, we can begin to see where our loved one’s feelings end and ours begin. It can be a difficult transition for others to take responsibility for their own actions, reactions, emotions, and choices once you’ve set a boundary. If we let go of owning others' responses to the boundary, we can focus on our own priorities and leave them to handle their response and reaction.  

Once those boundaries are set, we can begin to break old patterns and behaviors and start to feel more authentic and eventually more at peace. If you need help with setting boundaries, please visit and schedule a free Discovery Session

In health, 


Sources and Resources:

63 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Bình luận

bottom of page