Feb 21, 2024 | Mental Health

Tips to Help Set Healthy Boundaries


Last week, we spoke about the importance of setting healthy boundaries regarding your well-being and mental health. This week, we would like to offer some suggestions on how to help set limits so that you can maintain a sense of control over personal space, emotional health and physical limits.  

Once you are better equipped to set healthy boundaries, we hope that you will feel empowered and confident as you prioritize your wants and needs. 

Research has found that the violation of personal space can cause discomfort, and personal experience tells most of us that discomfort caused by boundary violations can lead to anxiety and fallout in our relationships — both personal and professional.” 


Acknowledge your needs  

The first step to setting boundaries in both your personal and professional life, is to seriously consider what you need to succeed and flourish. Focus on the things that will help you be the best version of yourself and think about aspects, or people, that are standing in your way. Whether communicating that you are unavailable for work related emails or calls after a certain hour or needing to limit your interactions with a specific person, be clear about what you want, and what you don’t want. Clearly outlining what is acceptable, and what is not, is a significant step in establishing boundaries. 

Communicate effectively  

You can’t assume that others will be able to read your mind. Therefore, you must effectively communicate your boundaries to others. While this can be challenging, the only way these limitations will be successful is to outline your expectations. Be open and honest about your feelings and your decisions. In some cases, you may feel challenged or dismissed in your communication efforts but stand firm in your decisions.  

You don’t need to be aggressive, but don’t be passive either. You can express your needs assertively by using “I” statements so the focus remains around you, and your feelings. 

“I statements show confidence and good boundary setting by expressing thoughts, feelings, and opinions without worrying what others are thinking.”


“No” is a complete sentence 

When setting boundaries, it is natural to want to justify your decision or explain in detail. However, if you feel uncomfortable or recognize that your boundaries are being pushed or tested, “No” is a compete sentence. You don’t owe anyone a lengthy explanation. By recognizing your limitations, you allow yourself space to honour them. Don’t be afraid to decline requests or commitments that go against your priorities, values, or harm your mental health. 

Seek support 

It is natural to face challenges when setting significant boundaries. Speaking to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings and limitations can help you manage guilt, sadness or even anger. It is also a helpful way to find validation in your choices, and support when needed. If you are having trouble setting, maintaining, or navigating your feelings, consider seeking guidance from a mental health professional who can provide you with advice and resources.

Remind yourself that setting boundaries is an act of self care, and one that impacts your mental health and well being. By effectively communicating your limits, and standing firm in your decisions, you will be able to thrive, and create a strong network of individuals who value, respect, and support you…and your boundaries. 

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