I recently had a conversation with a friend about boundaries and saying “no.” Her phone was ringing and as a successful realtor, her phone rings a lot. But we were having girlfriend time and she was torn between interrupting our time together and working.
“I don’t want to answer it, but it might be my client who just received his pre-qualification approval and he probably just wants to talk about it.”
I asked her, “Are you working now or not?”
“Well,” she said, “I guess I’m not working.”
Whether you work outside the home, are a full-time mother, or are retired, setting boundaries is an important part of self care. Unfortunately, though, it is often the last thing we think about. It was hard for my friend to say no to that call. She hadn’t set up clear boundaries for herself regarding her schedule and whether or not she would be at the mercy of her customers 24/7. She hadn’t yet set up defined times for when she is working and when she is not.
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others,” says Brene Brown.
I began creating boundaries years ago after taking a Calendar Can-Do Course from Life Coach Reggie Adams. I learned the importance of scheduling “me-time” – actually writing it into my schedule. This could be a doctor appointment, grocery shopping, manicure, or just time to pay the bills or to take a hot bath. Schedule those things that aren’t getting done in your life and watch how easily they get done. That way when a client/friend/family member asked if I was available I could honestly and quickly reply, “No.” This wasn’t about lying or being inflexible, this was about self preservation and making sure I took care of me. That way I could be there for all the other people who relied on me. Asking them to consider another date and offering times that worked for me and them, was a win-win for everyone.
“”No” is a complete sentence, but it can take many people decades to learn how to say it,” says Jenna Goudreau, from the Business Insider.
And once you do learn to say it more often in your daily life, I believe you are saying “Yes” to self care.