Setting Healthy Boundaries & Protecting your Energy

16 Jan, 2018

We don't always know what boundaries we have until they're been pushed. Sometimes we're oblivious that lifestyles are affecting us negatively, so how do you tell what helps vs. hinders? If you end your days in a stupor of emotional exhaustion; find yourself agitated at those around you, or have to really psych yourself up to just leave the bed, let alone the idea of exercise?! Then hooold up.

 

Setting boundaries first and foremost involves detaching yourself from other people's bad juju. It can be hard to work on your own stuff when those around you are negative. You can't always simply cut them out of your life (or you may not want to), but you CAN separate from their negative emotions. If you immerse yourself in other people's feelings, you'll get tired, and your body kind of gets tricked into thinking it's feeling low as well.

 

The things you get to control & select to supplement your life should perk you up & leave you feeling better, rather than leave you craving rest 24/7. Sure, being tired is a normal response to environment, but fatigue should be a temporary result of exertion, not a daily expectation. Seek out where it's coming from:

 

Werk werk werk

 

When a regular day's work is at the detriment of your health, is it worth it? no.

Even when you've been super productive & check off ALL the things? Also no.

 

But, but, stuff must get done! Life doesn't allow us to just stop & siesta whenever the feeling of brain fog comes over & sure, I get that it's not ideal to be eyeing off that third coffee like it's the most glorious gift to our kind. So, we have a dilemma: Work load > energy levels. In small doses, it's not a big deal cause our bodies are pretty resilient, but it'll cost you some burn-out if it's your norm. Trust me, burn out is awful! Plus it takes a while to recover from.

What do we do? Support the body to allow you to do all-the-things, (aka: you guessed it! Regular self-care). There are variances for how much and how often -the busier you are, the more you need to help sustain it. Some people base huge chunks of their day on it! You've seen "successful people's top tips" ...lots of it involves having fixed routines in the morning and night because their days are maxed out at work. Starting day routines are all designed to get your brain and body buzzing for the day & evening routines allow for debriefing & resetting. It's self-care 101. They don't dwell on issues they can't control, they look at what they're able to help with, and get it done so they can move on with their life. An injury pop's up & it's not side-lined. If there's always a bunch of stuff on the mind (with sleep issues as a result) then they see a practitioner to help clear their mind & get the nervous system to decompress. Some people are more pro-active & do things self-sufficiently and see a practitioner periodically, others are busier or time poor & may need a little more face to face time to tilt the balance back in the right direction.

 

Mood

Anxiety and grief are said to affect the Lungs in Chinese Medicine. We can feel an example of that with breath: it shifts to become shallow, irregular or tight. Sometimes we also see it affected by the Chinese Medicine coupled organ of the Large Intestine. What does that mean? Holding onto emotions can also affect your tummy, and we all need a happy gut! If you notice your natural reaction is internalising things, don't let your system overload. Practitioners are there to ensure you're brain and body are coping with the stimuli you implement. Acupuncture works on those systems that govern emotional disarray, plus they flood a bunch of endorphins into your system (instant yay!).

 

Zoom

One of the main things that changed over my break was I gave my body a rest from high intensity training. What happened? For a few days, I felt really flat & grumpy, but then I GOT MORE ENERGY. That's weird when you're fit & active, right?  If you're tired, but "doing all the right things" then you, like me, might be over-enthusiastic & on the hinge of over-training. Some blocked out R&R (for me that meant more sleep & more acupuncture) allows energy reserves to replenish, and provides the change to rethink how things are being approached. If training is leaving your system depleted to the point of being constantly tired, it’s hard to perform at your best, especially then things recover slowly. It's easy to ignore fatigue when you're doing things that are *technically* positive but don't forget thatyour central nervous system can only handle so much!  What percentage of your day is scheduled with "stuff" and how much is blocked out for your CNS to decompress? Think big-picture. By no means does it mean stop training, but if you're go-go-go week in and week out, then aside from some careful programming, self-care is MANDATORY!

 

 

Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist

Laelia Douglas-Brown

Health Space Rozelle & Newtown

Find me on Instagram! laelia.acupu