You deserve to have boundaries in all aspects of live, and counsellor Sarah Barr is here to explain how to set them in a healthy way:

This is always a focus within counselling sessions, a lot of us really struggle with setting healthy boundaries and saying “no”.

When we do, we sometimes feel a huge rush of guilt (because we believe we have done something wrong) leading us to completely self-doubt our words and our actions.

Healthy boundaries are about setting boundaries that help you feel mentally, emotionally stable and they are an important part of self-care.

Here are 6 boundaries you deserve to have:

Physical boundaries:

Physical boundaries include your need for personal space, your comfort with touch and caring for your basic physical needs like eating, drinking or resting.

It is completely okay to let people know that you don’t want to be hugged or touched or that you need a little more personal space.

They can sound like: “I am not a big hugger, we can shake hands instead”.

Emotional boundaries:

Emotional boundaries are about respecting feelings. Setting emotional boundaries is being aware of how much emotional energy you are able to absorb, knowing when to share your personal thoughts and feelings and being able to say “no”. Respecting emotional boundaries means validating the feelings, and yourself. Before you say yes to others, make sure you aren’t saying no to yourself.

Time boundaries:

Your time is valuable, and it is important to protect how you use it. Setting time boundaries is incredibly important at work, home, and socially. By doing so, you are understanding your priorities and setting aside enough time for the different areas of your life without overcommitting.

Healthy time boundaries might sound like:
“I can’t go to that event this weekend.”

Sexual boundaries:

Healthy sexual boundaries include consent, agreement, respect, understanding of preferences and privacy.

Healthy sexual boundaries include:

• Asking for consent.

• Discussing and asking for what pleases you.

• Discussing contraception.

• Saying no to things that you do not like.

• Protecting the privacy of everyone.

Intellectual boundaries:

Intellectual boundaries refer to our thoughts. Healthy intellectual boundaries include respecting the ideas of other people. Healthy intellectual boundaries also mean considering whether or not it is a good time to talk about something.

Material boundaries:

Material boundaries focus on our possessions like our home, car, clothing, money, etc. It is healthy to understand what you can and cannot share and how you expect your items and materials to be treated by anyone you share them with.
This is healthy and can prevent resentment over time.

Setting boundaries helps us to live authentically and respect ourselves, raising the bar on what we will accept.

Take care, Sarah.