The Importance of Setting BoundariesBy Tori Boughey
And just like that, we’re almost two months into another decade and there’s no time like the present to set out some clear intentions for the rest of 2020. While you’re at it, why don’t you make ‘boundaries’ one of the areas you intend to work on in the coming months.
To put it simply, a boundary is something you set with yourself to inform how you want to live your life and how you let others treat you. I believe boundaries are a crucial part of leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle because once your boundaries are in place, you know what you will and won’t accept from others and of course, yourself. In a strange sort of way, I find that the very act of recognising them as a ‘boundaries’ (as opposed resolutions or intentions), makes them easier to uphold.
Whether it’s making a decision about whether or not to RSVP to an event, or how to use boundaries to manage stress when you’re planning a party yourself, here are 4 useful tips and things to consider when setting boundaries in the context of events.
- Boundaries to Protect Your Time (and energy)
There’s something so exciting about having a fresh diary. With many plans to make, weekends to fill and parties/weddings to attend, I’m sure that by now, it’s already filling up fast. At this moment I urge you to take a minute to think about what you actually want to be saying yes to this year. First thing’s first, you don’t have to say ‘yes’ to every event you’re invited to. If you don’t get really excited about the prospect of the event then you probably ought to be saying ‘no’. With this added time, think about the things which really do make you feel good… and do more of those.
- Boundaries to Manage Your Guest List
Boundaries are incredibly useful when putting together a guest list for an event. Don’t bow to external pressures. Remember that this is your event, and it is for you to choose exactly who you do and don’t want to attend. You want to make sure that when you’re looking around the room, every single person you catch eyes with is someone you are delighted to have at the event. Other halves aren’t always necessary; as a general rule I still believe ‘no ring, no bring’ is acceptable. A question that is also good to ask yourself when deliberating over an invite is, “Would I be offended if I wasn’t invited to their event?”
- Boundaries to Protect Relationships
With weddings, it’s often helpful for the bride and groom to establish boundaries with their parents very early on in the planning process. While it’s far from always the case, the tradition of parents paying for the wedding is still often upheld and with financial contribution comes a level of control and decision making from the side of the parents. If this applies to you, I urge you to pause for a moment, take a deep breath and sit down with your partner to decide on which things really matter to you as a couple (which you won’t budge on) and which things you can let slide. By establishing this and communicating it politely from the outset, you’ll set yourself up for much smoother discussions (and potentially negotiations!) further down the line.
- Boundaries to Prevent the Burn Out
Make sure you’ve got enough ‘me time’ scheduled in your diary. This applies when attending lots of events and organising your own events. So, before a weekend event, I would recommend blocking out the Thursday / Friday evening to rest up, eat well and make sure that you’re raring to go the next day! And when you know your diary is looking a little chock-a, I’d recommend scheduling two nights a week to yourself to practice some good old self-care!