Have you ever wondered why you feel so exhausted all the time? Is it because of work? Or perhaps family responsibilities? Unspoken conversations? A medical issue that needs to be addressed?

Have you ever noticed how, during the holidays, you feel a bit more run down due to this unspoken expectation to BE UP and HAPPY? Maybe your stress shows up as an allergy or hives and you just keep treating the symptoms, but not the issue?

My client, John, would report back during our coaching session of a trip to his parents’ house. The “normal energy” state in his parents’ house was best described as “chaotic.” There was always some drama going on. We talked about patterns of relationships and his roles within the family. In doing so, it was quickly discovered that the boundaries were incredibly intrusive.

Families, friends, and relationships of all kinds push boundaries. Setting boundaries with people we care about is one of the most difficult things we must do to care for ourselves. We get told, “Don’t be selfish” or, “All you want to do is focus on you.” All of these comments have more to do with the people who are saying them, than they do about the person be told these things.

Boundaries are SELF CARE. Boundaries are a LEADERSHIP REQUIREMENT. Boundaries are CLARITY in action.

If you want more energy, the first step should be setting clear and healthy boundaries.

5 Steps to Setting Up Healthy Boundaries

  1. Assess your relationships. Note the people who FILL you up and the ones who deplete you. (Simply notice how you feel when you are around them. If you are not sure…that is a pretty good indication)
  2. Take a good look at the people who make you feel depleted after any contact. Reduce the amount of time you interact with them.
  3. Introduce reflection time into your daily practice. “Me” time is great time!
  4. Establish a daily routine that feels good to you. Do not add things into your routine in order to be like everyone else. Do what will support you in a schedule that you can manage.
  5. Give yourself permission. YES–that is true. Often we get into the habit of looking to others to validate our needs. You are allowed to give yourself permission to do what is needed for you.

If you have kids, they love alone time with their parents where it is their own special “me” time. This is something that typically the parent and the children begin to look forward to once the routine is set up. Putting it on a calendar and treating it as sacred time makes everyone aware that this time is taking place and nothing supersedes it. A report from clients about this boundary has reduced stress, guilt, fear, sadness and regret. This is a great one to add in monthly or quarterly for healthy relationships.