The one person you’re not setting boundaries with

The Road To Mental Wellness > Mental Health > The one person you’re not setting boundaries with

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As part of the trending buzzwords vernacular of the internet, one can easily seek advice on how to set boundaries. And it’s no wonder it’s popular. Many of us are really bad at setting them. However, if we work on achieving better boundaries, we can live a better life.

The amazing power of boundary-setting is that it can cultivate a peace that can be rather liberating. No, you’re not the bad guy because you don’t want to be used and or abused anymore. Trust me, once the dust settles from drawing the line, the better you will feel. Why? Well, because the person you’ve communicated your limits to, will do one of two things.

First, they may blame you but then estrange themselves from you – or two, they will be willing to work them out. Either way, it’s a better scenario than the pain and suffering you were enduring.

Does it feel bad? Sure, at first, but as time passes and you see effort or a continued abandonment from people, you will feel better. I like to look at it from. the “tearing off the Band-Aid effect.” Yes, to remove a Band-Aid does cause pain, but if you tear it off quickly, the pain is considerably less than if you were to peel it off slowly.

How to set boundaries

Personally, I’ve learned many things over the years, and one of the most important was that it’s okay not to be liked; it really is. I mean, with so many people in the world, you will find people who will respect the limits you set. Heck, some people will instinctively know where they lie.

So, once I learnt this, I was freed to trim my circle. Not only was there zero guilt, but now, I have the room to invite people who legitimately liked me. What do I mean by “I have room?” I mean I had/have the headspace. Less stress from others creates a space for love, and thus a sense of connection and safety. In a nutshell, healthy connections with others produces happiness.

The one person you’re not setting boundaries with.

There is however, one person that we seem to have the most difficulty setting limits with. That one person who we tend to be the hardest on. Who’s this person you ask? Why ourselves, of course.

Whether my depression likes it or not, I’m fighting back

With that said, I often wonder how many people think about the need to set boundaries with themselves – especially those with mental illness?

For instance, when depression speaks, we have often found ourselves shutting out the outside world. Sadly, when a depressive episode strikes, we opt for our beds. While I personally think this is a good thing, I also think too much down-time is harmful.

Notice: While there is nothing wrong with self-care onto itself, I think one needs to evaluate what it means. So, staying in bed for long periods of time should not be considered self-care. The fundamental question here is, “Is it healthy to never do anything but work and go to bed?” Further, one might do better to ask, “What other things can I do that are healthier options for me?”

Read: Depressed State Of Mind

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The rundown.

So, in the example above, a preference for long bouts of bedtime, may be all one can muster at times, but how long is too long? Moreover, should we subscribe to the idea that everyone is different? To me, the answer is both yes and no. Yes, everyone’s impacted by mental illness differently – but no, it should not be used as a method by which one stays in bed.

As I often can be heard saying, “Regardless of how limited your energy is, you still have a choice where you get to put it,” you do, in fact have a choice; and a method by which you can choose. Your choice can be made by setting boundaries with

Yup that’s right! you are no exception in the case of setting boundaries. After all, “I am my own worst enemy” is a saying for a reason. SO, let’s dive into this.

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There’s no doubt that depression is debilitating. This mental health condition can take us out of living. However, we can still manage it by fighting back.

So, in my case, I give myself permission to go to bed and close off from the world. But…… What I don’t do is let it become my “go to.” Essentially, I set limits. For example, when a depressive episode hits, I allow a max of three days to rest.

I find this method handy because it holds me accountable. I, within that three-day window, commit to getting up. Whether my depression likes it or not, I’m fighting back! How though? Well, in simple terms, in any way I can. So, for example, if this means I force myself outside to sit on my front step, that’s what I do.

Fresh air in the lungs could invigorate me just enough to go onto something else. More often than not for example, I end up going for a walk once I feel the air.

Setting limits on spending time in the darkness can get you back to living again. Just be sure you are following through on the limits you’ve laid down.

In crisis? Go to Crisis Services Canada

Again, we are all impacted differently by mental illness, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come up with a plan to work through the harder times in our lives.

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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalksHe has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak.Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way.Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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