For the month of April I’m blogging alphabetically about quick, easy, and practical ways to relieve stress. To see the other posts in this series, click here.
If I think about money, boundaries make sense to me. Our household has a certain amount of money. With that money we need to do really important stuff like buy food and pay the electric bill. There is a lot of other stuff I’d like to buy with money, but the necessities have to come first. Then, when it comes to the fun stuff, it’s much better to live within our means than to go in to debt. All of that makes sense to me.
My time and my emotions are also valuable commodities. Wow! What an epiphany.
Now that I realize this, I can see that I need to make big changes when it comes to time. I have the same 24 hours a day and 7 days a week that everyone else has. I need to prioritize that time better. First comes the really important stuff like sleeping and eating. These are usually the first things I try to skimp on or cut out of my day when I’m running low on time. But, in reality, they are the really important stuff – just like buying food and paying the electric bill are really important when it comes to money. Next comes my obligations to my family, like educating my children. Then comes down time – my children deserve free time with me and my husband especially deserves free time with me. All of this stuff needs to fit into my life. Only after I have all of this stuff working should I consider volunteering or helping out with some other project.
In some ways, this idea feels really selfish to me. The reality is: I like to help, and I have a really hard time saying no. Those two are a fatal combination. I need to set boundaries for myself when it comes to time. After I fit in all the stuff mentioned above, I can see how much time I have left. Whatever is left is the only time I have to share with others in this particular season of my life.
When I set appropriate boundaries with my time, my stress level will decrease because I will be giving my body the rest and nutrition it needs, plus I won’t be pulled in a million different directions and always on the go.
Somehow, this same principle applies to my emotions. I’ll need a little more time to figure that part out. Emotions aren’t concrete, but they have a real impact on my life and stress levels. I’ll be pondering how to apply boundaries to how I allow other people to effect my emotions. Do you have any tips for me? I definitely need some advice to get started.