Self Care and Boundaries, make them your best friend! 

Self-care seems to be one of the trendiest phrases in our lexicon as of late, but so few of us truly understand that self-care goes face beyond face masks, bubble baths and deep breathing. In fact for many people, self care is none of those things. Though far less glamorous that the latest self-care post you saw on Instagram, self-care often looks like setting boundaries, and saying no.

Saying no is a skill that can, for many, be hard to come by, but one of the most important when it comes to taking care of yourself. Setting a boundary by saying no can be a clear way to say that you value your own well being more than you value pleasing the person who requested, or in some cases, demanded, of you.

That isn’t to say that this concept gives you a license to say no to everything,, Unfortunately, there are plenty of things in our lives that we are going to be required to do, no matter how desperately we wish we could say no. Rather this concept of saying no to care for yourself, means that you are unapologetically saying no things that do not serve you or add value to your life; a coffee date with an old acquaintance who always makes you feel inferior, but you feel obligated to maintain a relationship with, or lending money to a cousin because you empathize with her situation even though you know it will create financial stress for you.

There are countless other examples, but the important thing to takeaway is that by saying no you are acknowledging that you don’t enjoy time spent with this old acquaintance, that you’d rather read your book or spend time with friends who make you feel supported and relaxed, or whatever other activity you enjoy.

Saying no, and being unapologetic about it, is certainly a task easier said than done. Saying no can feel awkward, especially if you are not used to it, and can come with a familiar feeling of guilt or obligation. These are not uncommon feelings, and to be frank, it’s those feelings that lead to so many of us finding ourselves in situations where we wish we’d just said no. A therapist is can assist you exploring these feelings of guilt, obligation, awkwardness, and whatever else saying “no” brings up for you. These may not be easy feelings to confront, but in the safe space of a therapy session, you are able to truly confront not only why you feel you must say yes, but how it will serve you, how it will protect you and your well being to learn to say “no.” A therapist can help you to amplify your own voice, to practice saying no, and most importantly to practice stopping at “no”, without additional apology or explanation.

Remember that taking care of yourself must be a priority for you in order to also engage in healthy, reciprocal relationships with others, and there is no better guide to help you learn to say no, and unlearn the obligation of saying yes, than a trained therapist.

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