As we enter the second month of 2020, how are you feeling? Are those resolutions holding strong? Are you glad dry January is over? Have you faced challenges already, or is 2020 a breeze so far? However your experience of the past month has been, it’s always worth re-committing to any selfcare resolutions or promises we’ve made to ourselves, so we can ensure the positive changes we might have made are long-lasting and authentic. Whilst February might see those ‘quick fix’ resolutions and unrealistic expectations of ourselves fall away, the second month of the year often sheds light on where we really need to focus our attention. Our February intentions are all about setting boundaries and working on showing yourself some love.
“I unconditionally, respect,
honour and love myself”
With Valentine’s day popping up on February 14th, there’s a lot of love-talk in the air, so how about we focus on our own self-talk, self-respect and set some boundaries to show ourselves some love? The more confident we become in setting boundaries with regard to work, technology, social life and stress-relief, the more we show ourselves that we really do respect ourselves, thus triggering the world to respect you and your boundaries too. Want to show someone you love them this February? Start with YOU first.
Seven Self-Respect Boundaries To Set
Opt For Airplane Mode:
Let’s start with a relatively easy boundary to set in place; switching your phone to airplane mode at night. If you’re not already doing this, you’ll notice the benefits as soon as you press that button. Staring at phone screens late at night not only plunges us into a social media hole of comparison and anxiety at a time when we should be relaxing and sleeping, but the light from the screen also prevents us from producing melatonin, an essential sleep hormone. Pretty much all screens emit a blue light-wave that prevents us from experiencing optimal sleep, so keeping phones out of the bedroom and away from your eyes can not only prevent a night-time scrolling session, it can physically help you re-set your sleep cycle too.
No More After-Work Emails:
If you’re passionate about your job, self-employed or in the midst of career anxiety, truly ‘switching off’ from work can be difficult. The thing is though, when we start feeling overwhelmed by our work, it becomes far less enjoyable, and we end up feeling as though ‘down-time’ is non-existent. Doing something that takes you away from your phone and laptop after work can be an effective way to create that boundary between work and leisure time, and means you’ll stop the habit of checking those emails constantly. Go for a walk, head to your local yoga class, read a book or cook dinner from scratch (all without your phone). Do something you find immersive so your mind is fully engaged.
Push Off Push-Notifications:
Do we really need to know every time someone comments on a photo or ‘likes’ an Instagram post? Constantly receiving push notifications from social media and emails is like having someone nagging at us 24/7. Those beeping, pinging sounds and flashing screens were made to get our attention, and indeed they do; each time we get a notification, we get a little hit of stress, demanding we stop whatever we’re doing and react. Not only do these notifications prevent us from being truly present with friends and family, they disempower us and virtually control where our attention and energy goes. Once we turn those notifications off, we regain the power to choose where our attention is placed.
Make Mornings Matter:
A non-digital boundary now, and one that can make a huge difference to the whole day. How we begin the day sets the tone for how we’re likely to feel the whole week. Hitting the snooze button, rushing around the house and turning up for that morning meeting late in a state of guilt-ridden panic puts us on the back-foot, so we’re likely to spend the rest of the week in a worse mood than necessary. At a time in which so many of us complain about ‘not having enough time’, we can break that perception and habitual thought pattern simply by getting up ten or twenty minutes earlier to start the day at a slower pace.
FOMO is real, but more and more of us are now experiencing the pleasures of JOMO instead (the ‘Joy Of Missing Out’). A full calendar and ‘busy’ lifestyle might seem enviable on the outside, but feeling busier than necessary with no time to simply be can seriously take its toll on physical and mental health. If you find yourself always saying ‘yes’, perhaps reflect upon why this is, and whether all the ‘yes’s’ are really worth it. So much of the time, a fear of saying no indicates we’re acting from a place of ‘lack’ (i.e. feeling unworthy, anxious and with deeply rooted imposter syndrome). Saying no to the things you really don’t want and don’t need to do are a liberating way to show yourself you care, and show others you have your priorities right.
Make Mental Health Non-Negotiable:
If your mind can be a little wobbly at times, you’ll know how important it is to make sure you’re doing things that keep your wellbeing in balance. Whether it’s a chat with a friend, a morning run, time spent in silence or a daily meditation practice, doing the things that keep your mind healthy means you’ll be far more resilient in the face of challenges, and have far more energy to give in life.
Drop Other People’s Emotional Baggage:
If you’ve always been the ‘shoulder to cry on’ or the ‘listener’, its likely you’re also the one carrying everyone else’s emotional baggage, as well as your own. Emotional baggage can get very heavy and cumbersome over time, eventually engulfing us entirely so we’re no longer aware of who we are without it. Being a good friend or family member by listening to others is what community is for, but the way we do it can make or break us. Two words are vital when it comes to compassionately listening but not absorbing others’ issues: loving and Listen and love all you can, then drop the issue and get back to focussing on the things you can control in your own life. Some people find creating an imaginary cloak or circle around them before entering into a heavy situation helpful, cultivating an energetic barrier that prevents your energy from being zapped.