Are people, things, and/or a busy schedule crowding your space?

Feeling overwhelmed, short of time, or mentally discombobulated?

This article’s for you!

Properly maintaining your “happy space,” mentally, physically and emotionally, is essential to your overall development; as a woman and as a person.  In order keep your “happy space,” well… happy, boundaries must be set. What do we mean by boundaries? A line that marks the limits of an area.

Why is it necessary?

It establishes a sense of self-respect and ultimately the respect of others.

Picture this, you’re living in a large, beautiful, bright, open space without any walls. During the day people come and go as they please.

You’re eating breakfast and you’re being questioned about how you feel, what you’re eating, what you have planned for the day. You are then lectured about how those decisions will impact your future. So, you decide to skip breakfast and head for the shower. Only to notice people walking by and through your bathroom to fix their hair, brush their teeth, say a quick hello and/or use your bathroom as a pit stop. Finally, you decide to take a nap. But, your bedroom has become the center stage for a parade; kids screaming, bands playing, the whole nine.

Without walls (or boundaries), everything is welcome at any time of the day.  While you may enjoy attending a parade, providing a listening ear, or attending the occasional brunch with a friend, it’s important that these things occur when you allow them in.

4 Ways to Fix It

1. Get comfortable with saying “no,” “not today,” “not right now,” “no thanks”. (without an explanation)

“‘No,’ is a complete sentence.”

Initially, saying “no” can be a challenge; especially towards those close to you. The more you practice saying “no” the more comfortable it will become. You will find that people will adjust and appreciate your assertiveness! Those adding to your life will note the adjustments and gladly respect you and your space.

2. Create a set of rules, that even you must follow

“It takes effort to say ‘no’ when our heart and brains and guts and, most important, pride are yearning to say yes. Practice.” | Cole Harmonson,

Example: Setting a curfew. Yes, by curfew we mean, “an order specifying a time during which certain regulations apply”.

Mom had it right! Establishing a time where you are inaccessible to others (except in the case of an emergency), promotes inner balance and peace.

Establish a time where you shut off the world (tv/music/phone) and turn on, you. Use this time to exercise, meditate, have a glass of wine, read a book, watch a show… really anything that involves spending time with YOU. This will have you on your way towards a clear mind, a strong sense of who you are, and a true understanding of what you do and do not like/what you will and will not put up with.

3. Do all things out of love, not out of obligation, guilt or fear.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.|Philippians 4:6-7 ESV 

If you’re guilted into making a decision, don’t make it. If you’re doing assisting out of pure obligation, don’t assist. If your reason for going through with a task/decision is because you are afraid of ____(insert type of fear), don’t go through with it.

There are ways to be supportive without allowing the world of those you love to weigh your world down. How? When its time to make a decision, ensure that it comes from a place of peace. Do not assist because you feel bad and do not assist because you “have” to, assist when/because it’s the right thing to do. Take a step back and ask God for direction, take time to address your feelings, tackle those concerns, and then make your decision. Take the time! Don’t be hasty.

“Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.”

4. Set aside time for yourself.

“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.”
― Sarah Dessen, Just Listen

Setting aside time for yourself is not selfish, thoughtless or greedy, but necessary.  Even as a mother / father / spouse… you must make time (even if its just an hour or two) for you. This time allows you to hear yourself, get to know yourself, and become a better self for those around you. Moms/Dads, take an hour before your little one gets up or an hour after they go to bed, so that it doesn’t interfere with your time together. As for every one else, they’re adults. If your spending all your time pouring into someone, you are going to eventually run dry. Make time for the ones you love without sacrificing all of you. They will learn to respect your wishes. 🙂


Happy boundary setting!

Stay Polished Pistil,

Maquita Donyel


Alexandria + Native | Arlington + Resident | Late Twenties
| I Love = God + Mini + Simple Thrills + Art + Love + Humility

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