Respecting Your Limits

Respecting Your Limits – Mental Health Monday

This weekend, I “went out” for the first time. If you know me personally, you would know that this is a pretty uncommon occurrence for me; I tend to be a homebody. As a gigantic fan of drag culture and the TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race, I was stunned when one of the recent winners was coming to a town within 20 minutes of my place. But, honestly, after purchasing my tickets I felt an overwhelming rush of dread. Events like this can be difficult, especially when you aren’t accustomed to going out. Respecting your limits can be on the tough side, especially if you’re one who tends to be on the anxious side.

Last week I talked about more physical routes to self care, but it’s also super important to remember that self care can simply be acts of kindness that you show to yourself. For me, one big way to show myself some much needed love is understanding where to draw the line. It honestly can take a little bit of courage, but once you establish your own limits, you start to feel a ton more secure.

Respecting Your Limits Can Feel Selfish At First

Ah. As is common with pretty much all self care, you might feel guilty at first. For me, I felt like I was wasting my time. More specifically, I started to take time for myself when on vacations. My family frequents the Disney Parks, and which an anxiety disorder, sometimes the gigantic crowds, loud music, and constant visual and mental stimulation can leave me feeling a bit on the dead side.

I used to push myself and push myself to stay with my family, slap on the smile, and keep going, but I seriously wasn’t enjoying myself, like, at all. To make it worse, once my limits were pushed way past the point of no return, I would almost always have a panic attack which would leave me pretty much listless and needing a quiet space immediately. I forgot that this was supposed to be my vacation too, so spending the time in an enjoyable fashion should be on the top of the list.

I started to establish what I would do when I felt overwhelmed, and was vocal about my plans with the group I traveled with. This group pretty much was exclusively my family and a select few family friends, so they understood why I might need backup plans.

The first step you need to take is realizing that taking care of yourself DOES NOT make you selfish. You have to put yourself first, and when mental health is on the table, the more you take care, the more you can give to other people. I really love the saying about not being able to pour from an empty cup, and that’s exactly my sentiment with limitations and boundaries. When you set your boundaries, you thrive more and can then do more.

Respecting Your Limits Helps Others Respect Them Too

Back to the instance of the show I attended this last weekend, by being vocal about my limits, I was able to stay happy for the entirety of the event. I’m more vocal than most about anxiety (I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve at this point) and by sharing when I felt that I was at my limit, the other people who came with me were also able to respect those limits. I didn’t feel pushed to do anything out of my comfort zone, and knowing that I could leave if I needed to was enough comfort for me.

By letting other’s know when you are just about tapped out on energy, they can then start to process their own limits accordingly. When I was ready to go, my friend was as well, and we both felt relieved that we weren’t really pushing ourselves for the sake of the other person. If I didn’t speak up about feeling a bit spent, we both might have stayed longer than we liked for the sake of the other person.

Respecting Your Limits – But Not Being Limited By Them

Now, it might seem on the counter intuitive side to not be “limited” by your limits, but life exists outside your comfort zone. Understand how much you can handle, but do try to do new things, with that backup plan in mind. If I had just accepted that I didn’t want to go out because of the sounds, crowded spaces and possible anxiety, I would not have had such an amazing night out with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages. Plus, now I want to go to more shows because the crowd was so kind, supportive, and overall a good time.

Know where to stop, but allow those boundaries to integrate into new experiences. Your limits don’t need to remain the same forever; they’re meant to change and adapt to whatever makes you feel best. Mine have constantly and drastically changed over the years. If they had remained the same, I wouldn’t have grown as much as I have over the last couple years.

How do you respect the limits you set in your own life? Tips, tricks, thoughts or comments? Share them with me in the comment section below.

Have a fabulous Monday!

XOXO Em

11 thoughts on “Respecting Your Limits – Mental Health Monday

  1. Zoë says:

    I think it’s fantastic to be honest with yourself and with others about your limitations, then there is no one with unrealistic expectations and you have less pressure. I love that you’re strong enough to talk about this stuff!

  2. Nina Bashaw says:

    I completely and wholeheartedly agree, you have to know and understand your limits otherwise you overwhelm yourself and you get discouraged. Staying physically and mentally healthy are defiantly related!

  3. I agree that we need to respect our limits. Sometimes, to know where my limits are can be difficult though. However, if the people you are with really care about you, they shouldn’t pressure you into doing something that is past your limits and they shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable about saying “no” either. Great post!

  4. Taking care of yourself and defining what makes you comfortable does not make you selfish. I am not a huge fan of large crowds myself. And there are times that I skip events because I would not be comfortable which then, in part, often takes away from other’s good times. And when I do decide to give it a go, making people aware of my feelings gives me the support system I need.

  5. I needed to read this. This has been a lifelong struggle for me and I am still working on this! I always need help with the last, Respecting Your Limits – But Not Being Limited By Them. Thank you so much for the tips!

  6. Mental health is so so important. After some family members being diagnosed, I’ve looked into it and it intrigues me so much! It’s so real and I’m so glad that you’re encouraging all those in your corner of the internet.

    Hannah Rooks | therookiewife.com

  7. Bianca says:

    Recognizing what you need is the first step. I often find thag after agreeing to plans i dread the effort it takes to prep and plan but once im there it’s a lot of fun.

  8. Ashley says:

    I love this. It is so true setting limits can make you feel selfish. I struggled with that. But then I realized the more I set limits the more refreshed I was so I was actually able to give of myself more and not grudgingly. This is such an important article. Thanks for the tips

  9. Promoting positive mental health is one of my personal advocacies and I would have to agree that it is very important that we respect our limits. We must learn how to say no or to stop. It may be hard at first but with the right mindset, it’s possible.

  10. This is something that I still struggle with today. I have such a hard time telling people no and even telling them no with conditions. But, I’m learning more and more that if I don’t set boundaries, I could literally run myself into the ground sometimes. And it also makes you resent the person that you reluctantly said yes to. Setting limits and boundaries is not selfish at all, it’s necessary.

    http://www.officiallychic.com

  11. Yinka says:

    This is so timely! I totally agree that by letting other’s know when you are just about tapped out on energy is something we should all practice.

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