As we near the end of our latest Intentional Health online course we discuss boundaries. How to set them and how to stick to them. This blog post is written by course attendee Sophia who writes about her personal experience whilst on the course and highlights her favourite bits from this week.
Sophia loved this week so much that she’s split the content into two. Read part 1 below but make sure you come back next week to read part 2.
Week 8 – Setting Boundaries
This week we started by looking at boundaries. I’ve been interested in this for a while because a few years ago I felt my boundaries getting pushed in a specific situation. Therefore, I made a concerted effort to set and communicate boundaries at that time. I feel like I do a pretty good job of setting boundaries for my children and setting boundaries in a church situation (I learned the hard way not to say yes to everything!).
However, as we unpacked the content this week, I identified a couple of areas in my life where I need to consider setting boundaries, lest I end up physically and emotionally depleted (I liked the picture the leaders offered of imagining we are basil plants, and every time we say yes to something it is like we take a leaf off our plant; too many yes’s and we end up a stick, unable to get the nutrients to produce a life that we need).
As always, the practical bits of the session are my favourite, so I appreciated looking at ways to say no. We were reminded that ‘“No.” is a complete sentence’, so we don’t need to justify our response to people. However, recognising that isn’t always easy. We looked at other things we can say in a situation when we don’t want to commit to something on the spot; my personal favourite was
“Let me check my diary and get back to you.”
One leader shared what she says if she’s asked to take on more at work, yet doesn’t have the capacity to fit it in:
“If that’s important for my role then I’ll gladly do it, but what can I now not do, and give to someone else to do instead? I have no more space in my week to add in more.”
I’ll remember that little gem! Whilst these conversations may feel awkward, it’s helpful to remember that a little discomfort now is much better than a lot of resentment later.
To consolidate all of this, we were sent into our breakout rooms for a bit of role-play. If I’m honest, I find role-playing pretty cringey, but luckily, so did my partner, so we made a very half-hearted attempt at the role plays (in which we practiced saying ‘no’ to pushy people), and then just used the time to chat about our own experiences of boundary setting!
The second part of the session was around spiritual health, but I’ll explore that in my next blog post, as I feel like it deserves its own space!
Come back to our blog next week to read the second half of week 8. Don’t miss an update by signing up to receive an email letting you know when the next blog post is live.