health

The Basics of Setting Boundaries

Hello beautiful people,
I wrote on Tuesday about how difficult some days are and gave a few ideas on how I’ve been dealing with them, maybe even making them a little bit better. This whole week has been a bit hard for me – I’m working through some personal stuff and learning about my limits, including what it means to set boundaries.
Boundaries are one of those things that people can get offended about really easily. Especially when it comes to setting limits with people, it can easily come across as being rude or selfish. And it really shouldn’t be that way, not if we do it with the right attitude and with a spirit of love.

Setting Boundaries

Recognize a Need

I’m not talking about someone you don’t like and just don’t want to talk to anymore. Unless you have a deeper intention behind it, that’s probably bordering on being a little rude. But recognizing when someone is a constant drain on your emotional and mental health or understanding that unless you can agree to disagree there should probably be certain topics that are off-limits? That’s totally okay. It’s one thing to do things that are uncomfortable or out of our comfort zones sometimes and a completely different thing to allow anything and everything into our lives – that’s unhealthy.  Certain situations just need to be worked through, others need boundaries and limits.
It’s hard to know sometimes. I totally get it. I’m the first one to question my decisions in these kinds of situations and I tend to waffle back and forth before making up my mind completely. Just remember – that thing I said about a spirit of love? That thing helps qualm those uncertainties and fears 99% of the time.

Know Yourself and Your Limitations

Have you taken the time to understand yourself and your own limitations? That can be key to knowing how to handle external influences. There are certain areas of life in which I have set boundaries for myself – not because of other people exactly, but because I know what my triggers and weaknesses are, which enables me to avoid situations and circumstances that will bring out less than my best.
It’s so easy to blame other people for our own lack of self-control or whatever the problem might be. And I don’t say this to let everyone else off the hook because I think everyone should be working on being the best version of themselves. But the reality is that we don’t have the power to change other people. We CAN work on ourselves. And by demonstrating good self-care and setting boundaries, we can actually help others more than we might think. But first and foremost, it’s about knowing our own limitations and understanding who we are.

Know What To Do

When it comes to the actual process of setting a boundary, that’s where it can get a little tricky. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the easiest things you can do is curate your social media feeds. You don’t necessarily have to block people or whatever, but there’s a lovely little “unfollow” or even just a “mute” button on Facebook for the times you need it. (Not that you should only be seeing the people who agree 100% with your opinions, but some people have no concept of limits or useful discussion and that serves nobody.) It’s the little things sometimes.
Other circumstances aren’t nearly so easy though. Sometimes it’s choosing not to go somewhere where you know you’ll be around someone who always seems to push your buttons. If and when you can handle being around that person again, you can re-evaluate that limit, but especially if you’re working through something and you know that talking to that person would undo the progress you’ve made, maybe its best to just stay away for the time being.
I am the QUEEN of ghosting people, but I’ll also admit that it is not a healthy way to deal with things. Something I have done before though, is responding to someone when I’m in the right frame of mind and then muting or hiding them on my phone so that I don’t have to handle the conversation until I’m ready. Don’t feel the need to respond to everyone right away.
Doing something similar in person is a lot harder and I’m still learning how to handle that. For me right now it’s been holding my tongue when other people are having a conversation that I have strong opinions about if I know I’m not ready to discuss things fairly and properly. Sometimes it’s leaving the room. Both of those are getting easier to do, and something I’m trying now is what I call “exiting” a conversation. If things are getting heated or frustration is building up, there should be no shame in saying, “This conversation isn’t healthy for our relationship. Why don’t we come back to this when we’re feeling calmer and more in control of our feelings?” Being firm and actually walking away if needed would be the next step.
Sadly, there is still a lot of judgment passed on those who choose to set boundaries for themselves. It can be hard to hear that someone doesn’t want to speak to you, I get that. But, again, we’re not going to change each other’s minds by having a yelling match. Choosing to have a calm, insightful conversation is much better. And if someone isn’t capable of talking about certain topics without getting hateful or judgmental, then the consequence may be distancing yourself for a little while, as painful or hard as it may be.
Is there an area of life that you feel could use some boundaries or limitations for your own emotional or mental health? What’s holding you back from setting that boundary?

Love and kindness,
I’m always here for you.

 

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, General, mental health, 0 comments

Focus or Priority

Hello dear readers!

I have been on a roll this month! Two blog posts every week and my 7th so far? I think my goal was 8 posts for the month, so we are well on our way! Claps for me!

No, just kidding. I’ve been ahead on a bunch of things this month (and behind on several, per the usual) so it’s not that surprising. But I am glad anyways. So let’s jump in.

Last week I wrote about all the things that I wasn’t really satisfied with in my everyday life and wished I could change. And then a few days later I wrote about all the beautiful wonderful things in my life that make it worth living. Neither of those posts were particularly exciting, but they were leading up what I wanted to talk about today. And that is the struggle of making – and keeping up with! – priorities.

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I’ll be the first to tell you that I am terrible about priorities, so I’m the last person you should be taking advice from. But it is something that I have struggled with over the last few years.

A lot of my personal struggle comes from the fact that my anxiety likes to distract me in a big way. For example: I have about three hours of time with my husband in the evenings. Obviously he is the higher priority, but regardless of how well I know that, I still find myself distracted because the floor should be swept or I have an unfinished project. And then because I’m unable to give him my full attention I feel like I’ve failed him and myself by not being able to stay true to “my priorities”.

That’s one example and there are many more, of course. Basically I have a struggle with priorities. Part of this is my anxiety and part of it is my health is not very consistent so I often have to take time off from everything to rest.

And yes, I know what I’m saying – my health should be the first priority, right? And that’s true. But even though I’ve improved over time, I’m still not very good at taking care of myself. Being pregnant actually helps because I have to take care of the baby, which at this point means taking care of me.

One of the mistakes I’ve made in the past was to have too many priorities. I had all these things that were important to me and I tried to spend some time on each of them on a regular basis. And wouldn’t you know it – I ran myself down trying to get to all of them.

There are several articles out there that recommend only having 3-5 actual priorities. This isn’t to say that everything else isn’t important. Instead it’s about how you look at everything else. If my priority is my mental health, then I shouldn’t be spending all my time helping my friends with all their various problems. That doesn’t mean that my friends aren’t important to me, just that I have to put things into perspective a little.

A lot of times we tend to look at priorities as something that determines how we spend our time and our energy. And to some extent it is. But for me, setting priorities is more about changing the way I look at what I allow into my life. It’s putting certain things first and focusing only on what is conducive to those things.

And that looks different for everyone.

For me, right now, it means saying no more often. It means setting my phone aside or turning off the TV a lot more. It means making sure I get enough sleep, even though the house isn’t really cleaned yet.


So I’m curious… what do priorities look like for you?

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, mental health, 0 comments

Expectations: An Update

Hello beautiful people!

In January I met my goal for monthly blog posts and wrote 7 of them. Then in February was when I started feeling sick all the time and basically spent my time doing as little as possible – and posted here a total of three times. In March I was hoping to feel a bit better, but that was slow in coming, so thus far I’ve put up three posts again – this will make four!

Anyways, I figured it was about time I wrote an update that was less vague about why I’ve been so absent much of this year. Continue reading →

Posted by katharine_marie, 0 comments

Tuesday Thoughts

Hello lovely beautiful people!

It’s been well over a week again, and I feel really awful about the lack of writing/posting lately, so I figured today I would give up a multi-faceted update on my life lately. Or at least parts of it. Hopefully you are all doing well and enjoying the last few days of February (seriously, where has the time gone?!).

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This would be me if I could stay home all day.

Health

First off, I’ve mentioned my health issues several times during the last few blog posts, so it makes sense to mention it again. I have a bigger post about the whole shenanigan planned for March, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here. Mainly, we’re slowly making progress and I’m starting to feel better. I don’t want to jinx myself, but today was the first morning that I woke up and actually thought about getting out and going for a walk before work. I didn’t do it (mostly because I was already going to be running late for work) but the fact that it was a thought in my mind first thing in the morning is a huge deal for me. But, like I said, I’ll update everyone in a few weeks on everything that’s going on!

Ponies

Partly because of how I’ve been feeling lately and partly because Texas winters are really weird and unpredictable, I haven’t been able to spend time with my horse lately and I certainly haven’t been able to ride. And it is driving me crazy. I read a lot of horse blogs in my spare time, which gets me thinking about riding even more. And when it’s pouring rain outside and I’m stuck on the couch, I tend to “window shop” for MOAR PONIESS. Generally I keep my window shopping to the higher-level horsies that we most definitely can’t afford, so that makes my life easier, but yesterday I started browsing some cutesy ex-racehorses who are much more in our price range. And yes, darling husband, if you’re reading this, I know we don’t have a price range right now because we’re not buying a new horse anytime soon. Tehehe. Anyways, please let us get some sun and less mud soon?

School

In completely totally different news, I’m looking at going back to school again. The idea is to switch my major to English, since I’m more likely to end up working with writing and editing stuff than I am to make a big business out of my piano skills. Also, we’ll be able to continue living in this area and keep our jobs, since the degrees and colleges I’m looking at have great online options. I’m not sure when I really want to start classes again or whether all the finances are going to work out, but its something I’m getting really excited about. Learning always makes me feel like I’m working towards something again, in a bit of a different way than setting my own projects and deadlines does. For now, that’s all I’m going to say on the subject, but I’ll make sure to give updates once we figure out details and timelines and what the process is going to look like.

Goals

Now… I know that March is coming on, and super crazy fast too. I don’t understand it either! And honestly, as I get ready to write my post on March goals, I’m constantly reminded of how little I did in February. It felt like a disaster in some ways, just because of the amount of things that got pushed to the wayside, but honestly in some other areas I’ve made a lot of progress. So while the list of things I got done is going to look really pathetic, I’m ready to look forward and see where I can make new ideas. Life is a continuous process, and I’m working on taking it one day at a time right now.

Mentally

Before I make this post way too long and rambling, I wanted to just mention the fact that I’ve been pleasantly surprised over the last month. Despite all the health things going on and feeling somewhat like I’ve failed at a lot of my goals recently, I have not had any major mental setbacks. I haven’t had a real panic attack in at least a month, probably closer to six weeks. And while I’ve had a few rough days, I can’t say that I’ve really slipped into a true depressive patch in approximately the same amount of time. I wish I could say that I’ve just really been able to manage my thoughts and ideas in a more positive manner lately or that I’ve been taking some kind of new vitamin or medication that is helping out, but none of those things are the case. So, for right now, I guess I just keep moving forward! I think the whole idea of taking it one day at a time really helps though, since I start getting more anxious when I try to look or plan ahead more than I really need to.


I’ve already started a post about March goals, which should go up on Friday, so hopefully everything stays positive and good between now and then. For all of us!

Until then, all the love and kindness in the world!

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie, 0 comments