SETTING BOUNDARIES WITH SELF AS A WAY TO BUILD TRUST.
We usually think of personal boundaries as a way to communicate our needs to others; a way to tell them how we want to be treated.
But we also need boundaries with ourselves.
Part of being a healthy adult is making decisions for ourselves that may not always be fun, but are for our overall wellbeing.
These boundaries help keep us from staying up until 2am each night or scrolling on our phones until our eyes go blurry. When we set that boundary, it may sound like "I know this isn't good for me, and I now know the line between what's okay and what isn't. This is the point where I won't push it."
Some examples may be:
"I can online shop but I'm going to stick to my budget this month."
"I'm going to limit my time on social media to 1 hour."
"I won't bring my phone into the bedroom."
"I'm going to go to sleep by 11pm so that I can feel rested for tomorrow."
BOUNDARIES AND SELF-COMPASSION WORK
The most effective and healing self-care practise lies somewhere between setting boundaries with self and radical self-compassion work.
Self-compassion is defined as speaking to yourself with the same kind of kindness, care, and compassion as you would with a close friend going through a hard time.
So where boundaries come in to create structure and hold ourselves accountable, self-compassion comes in and says "what do I need?". This practise can help us to become more curious about our habits, and look into what the need is that underlies the behaviour that we don't like.
So, an example may be that you don't like the fact that you can't seem to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Where self-judgement would say "what's wrong with me?", self-compassion would say "what do I need?" In this case, you may uncover that you have a need to have more unstructured time to yourself during the day, so that you don't postpone your bedtime to gain back that time for yourself.
By identifying the need behind the undesirable habit, you'll find that it will probably be a lot easier to keep that boundary because you are satisfying the root cause of the thing that you are trying to stop.
With that combination, self-love grows and so does our ability to take care ourselves.