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How Do I Set Healthy Boundaries in Recovery?

Setting healthy boundaries, especially in the early stages of your recovery, is very important. They allow you to determine what you are and are not comfortable with and to protect your own space. Many people think of boundaries in the physical sense, but healthy boundaries in recovery can also include mental and emotional boundaries as well. Sometimes it is these non-physical boundaries that may be most important in protecting your peace while in recovery. 

At Sage Recovery, we believe that helping patients determine what their own boundaries look like and learn how to enforce them is an essential aspect of lasting recovery. Not everyone who first enters treatment may have an understanding of what healthy boundaries are. They might also not yet see the need for them in their own lives. If this is your case, this is something that we can help you to establish as you begin your journey in recovery. 

Why Are Setting Healthy Boundaries in Recovery Important?

In many cases, the lack of having any real boundaries in life can lead to a lot of problems. Boundaries can refer to the relationships you have with other people, your physical living space, and your mental and emotional state. Without boundaries, things can feel chaotic, stressful, and uncomfortable. This can lead to stress, anxiety, and other mental problems. 

While in recovery, you will learn that there are many things you can’t control in life. For example, you can’t control other people’s actions or bad things that may have happened in the past. Yet, by setting healthy boundaries in recovery, you can focus on what you do have control of and take ownership of that. This can not only protect your mental health but even prevent a possible relapse. 

At Sage Recovery, a counselor can work with you to determine what healthy boundaries may be lacking in your life. For example, maybe a lack of boundaries with a particular person in your life could potentially be jeopardizing your recovery. This could be someone who is in active addiction themselves and is unwilling to get help. Additionally, maybe this person does not respect your commitment to your sobriety or even makes an effort to threaten it. 

Setting healthy boundaries with this person doesn’t mean that you have to cut them out of your life. Instead, it allows you to set clear limits for what you are and are not comfortable with within that relationship. 

For example, maybe your boundaries for that person include not allowing them in your home if they have just been engaging in substance use. Similarly, maybe your boundaries involve letting others know that you’re not going to pick up the slack for them anymore when their substance use triggers consequences. This could also involve choosing to no longer make excuses for them or offer them financial help until they agree to get treatment. 

How Do I Set Healthy Boundaries With Other People?

It can feel a little comfortable at first to tell someone in your life that you are setting some boundaries within your relationship with them. Still, remember that this is not only going to benefit your mental health but is also necessary for your continued sobriety. In fact, setting healthy boundaries and sticking to them can actually improve relationships as well. They can help promote better communication and understanding, which can make things better for everyone involved. 

The people that you choose to set healthy boundaries with can include anyone in your life, not just someone that you may be in a romantic relationship with. These boundaries may be needed within a relationship with an overbearing parent or an overly needy friend. Maybe they could be applied to a relationship with a coworker who has gotten accustomed to passing off their responsibilities to you. 

Whoever you are setting these boundaries with, make sure that you are clear when setting them and firm when enforcing them. If you don’t enforce them you may find that the other person just goes right back to the same past behavior. 

How Do I Set Healthy Boundaries Within My Own Mental Well-Being?

It can be hard to keep your thoughts positive all the time. While you might not be able to prevent a negative thought from popping into your head, you can control whether or not you choose to dwell on it. You can set boundaries to protect your mental well-being by not allowing yourself to get stuck in negative thought patterns. This can be done by becoming more aware of your thought patterns and choosing to focus on the positive whenever possible. 

You can also set healthy boundaries when it comes to your mental health by learning to say no when necessary. In addition, you can learn to ask for help when you are feeling overwhelmed. 

Everyone, whether they are in recovery or not, can benefit by establishing healthy boundaries in their life. It can be a great way to maintain peace, prevent stress, and improve your relationships with those around you. Just as we would want others to honor our own boundaries, it is important to respect theirs as well. This is an important part of showing consideration towards the people in your life who are closest to you. If you want to start establishing healthy boundaries in your life but don’t know where to start, our team at Sage Recovery can help. Don’t wait, reach out to us today by calling (512) 306-1394 and a member of our team will tell you more.