Health Coaching Hints.
Weekly hints from our nationally certified Health Coach Erika Zink on how to make healthy habit changes.
September 2021 Health Coaching Hints: Healthy Boundaries
Your Foundational Health Coaching Package gives you:
The Ins and Outs of an Elimination Diet
Making sure that you have good, healthy boundaries can work towards preventing burnout by reducing stress, and increasing fulfillment in both your personal and professional life. They are what define you as a unique individual and are directly linked to your values and what gives your life purpose. As you can imagine, if you have loose or undefined boundaries, it can have a profound impact on your mental and even physical health.
How do you know if you need to strengthen your boundaries? In general, if you find yourself feeling unfulfilled, frustrated, lost, or that you are being taken advantage of, these are all signs of needing to fortify your boundaries.
Some other hints that you may need to strengthen your boundaries include:
- You have trouble saying no to the demands of others
- You struggle with speaking up, even when you are treated poorly
- You feel drained because you are giving too much of your time to others
- You feel taken for granted
- You feel guilty especially when you do something for yourself
- You often sacrifice your own needs for others You have relationships that feel one-sided
- You over-share details about yourself, even with strangers
- You are passive aggressive in your interactions with others
- You have a hard time being decisive
- You often feel like a victim You allow others to touch you even when you feel uncomfortable
- You no longer know what you want or need anymore
Recognizing yourself in any of the statements above is not a sign of weakness or in any way a negative reflection on who you are as a person. Instead, recognizing where the holes are in your boundaries is the first step towards determining what really matters to you so that you can begin to plug those holes and strengthen your identity.
To help you do this, next week we will discuss what is at the foundation of creating strong boundaries: your values and purpose.
VERIFY YOUR VALUES
Since your boundaries reflect who you are and the guidelines you use to shape your interactions with the world, knowing what matters to you can help define what those rules will be. Taking the time to clearly understand what gives your life meaning can create a strong framework from which to lean on when faced with adversity. Your values can also help to clearly understand what you are and are not willing to accept when interacting with other people.
There are many ways that you can go about defining what your core values are. In fact, you may already have a good idea what they are. For those who are unsure or maybe feel that you need to take some time to re-evaluate your values, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Do a search online for a list of values and choose up to five that you feel are most important to you.
- Think of the people that you admire and consider what values they emulate that make them important to you.
- Use an online values inventory. Many of these are free, like the one at lifevaluesinventory.org.
- Work with a health coach to gain clarity on what matters to you at this stage in your life.
PLOTTING YOUR PURPOSE
Research has shown that having a sense of purpose, that drive towards achieving a long-term goal that you find meaningful and will allow you to leave a positive mark on the world, can have many favorable benefits to your physical and mental health.
Making the time to clearly understand what matters to you and then connecting that to how you interact with the world can help you to define your boundaries and take back control of your life. To do this, you will need to make time for self-reflection and to listen to others.
Here are some suggestions you can use to get started:
- VOLUNTEER. Whether it’s your time, money, or your skills, finding a group or cause you care about or giving aid to those in need can give your life meaning.
- ENCOURAGE FEEDBACK. If you are struggling to narrow down what you are passionate about, ask those closest to you what they think. They may be able to see something that you haven’t noticed.
- POSITIVE SOCIAL NETWORK. The people you choose to spend your time with have a big influence on inspiring you to make positive changes. Make sure you are interacting with people that motivate you.
- EXPLORE YOUR INTERESTS. What do you like to learn about? What pictures or topics are you drawn to? These can be a great clue into what matters and drives your purpose.
- YOUR LOVES AND HATES. What injustices bother you? What activities do you truly enjoy? These can provide insight into what your purpose is.
If it has been a while since you paused to plot your purpose or verify your values, make time to do this. If you are unsure how to do it on your own or feel the need for guidance, working with a health coach can help bring clarity.
Now that you have strengthened the foundation from which your boundaries are built upon, you can begin to define what those boundaries are. Next week, I will share hints with you on how to begin to do this.
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