Setting Boundaries - Mental and Emotional Self-Care

The Witch's Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit - Arin Murphy-Hiscock 2018

Setting Boundaries
Mental and Emotional Self-Care

Boundaries are an important part of self-care, helping to keep you balanced and whole. They protect you from an onslaught of energy and people claiming your time. If you have a problem saying no to people, perhaps your boundaries need to be strengthened.

In magic, we think of a personal shield as a form of energy boundary. There are other kinds of boundaries, however, that are important in self-care. We all have limits, and innate limits are there to help us defend our physical, mental, and emotional health.

Many people who practice magic, who self-identify as a witch or pagan, or who otherwise work with natural energies, also self-identify as healers in some way. When you work as a healer, you have to be very careful to set firm boundaries, otherwise you can end up lost in someone else’s pain. Being there for someone and supporting them can wear you down to a point where you can’t focus properly on your own affairs. You can feel tethered to your phone, reluctant to go to sleep in case someone needs you, feel guilty for forgetting about them by having a good time somewhere.

Helping friends through tough times is a wonderful, loving thing to do, but you can only do it successfully if you are in the right place to do so mentally and otherwise. Sometimes you reach a point in supporting other people where it becomes detrimental to your own health, be it emotional, spiritual, or physical. When you exhaust yourself, you need help too.

Telling someone that you need a break and drawing boundaries is incredibly difficult. Be honest and communicate clearly; explain your own situation, your own feelings. Don’t feel guilty for needing space. Try using these statements to communicate your need for setting boundaries for your time and energy:

♦ I love you. I care for you. In order to keep helping you, I need some space to heal myself.

♦ I am worried that in my current state, I can’t support you the way I want to. I’m concerned that I will say the wrong thing, that I will misguide you or cause more harm than good.

♦ There is a lot going on in my life and I can’t stay on top of it.

What should you offer your friend instead of an all-access pass to your time and energy?

♦ Suggest time windows. Remind them that you care and that is why you are making sure that you are accessible at specific times to them.

♦ Suggest talking about other interests with them, not just the hard stuff.