The Importance of Setting Limits

Sundays are Self Care days here at Little-Spaces. Today we’re talking about something that a lot of people, myself included, find very difficult to do.

It’s very rare that someoneĀ enjoys saying “no.” However, knowing our own limitations and setting limits are very important aspects of self care. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by everything in our lives – stresses at work or in relationships, concerns about the wider world around us, difficulties in our families, personal illnesses. And if we don’t learn how to set and express our limits, we can end up doing a lot of damage to ourselves.

Think about the last time you felt completely overwhelmed. Maybe that’s even right now. Can you look back a bit further from that point and notice a sign that perhaps told you things were getting to be a little too much? It’s important to pay attention to those things. For me, I often find myself sleeping way too much when I’m getting overwhelmed. That’s my sign. Yours might be different.

How can you avoid reaching that point? By setting limits. By learning to diplomatically say “no” to requests. If a coworker wants you to pick up an extra shift on your day off, but you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out at work, it’s okay to say “I’m sorry, I really can’t.” If your partner wants you to run errands after you get off work and you’re wiped out, it’s fine to say “I’m out of energy today – I’ll handle it tomorrow.”

The closer you are to someone, the harder it can be to say “no.” Because of that, I highly suggest talking with your partner(s) to develop a script for when you’re at your limit. This lets all involved parties know what to expect when a limit is reached. And it should help reduce guilt in expressing when you’ve hit your limits. Think of it like a safeword for outside the bedroom. My partners and I often use The Spoon Theory to discuss this sort of thing. “I don’t have the spoons for that right now” is a solid script.

But the person it might be the hardest to say “no” to is yourself. The amount of weight we put on ourselves can be immense. We can feel as though we need to pick up extra hours at work, keep the house spotless, handle all the outdoor chores, provide the absolute best for our partners and children and pets… And that all adds up very quickly. And when the chores are waiting and you’re feeling stressed to breaking, it’s important to be able to say “no” to yourself as well. The bathroom can get cleaned tomorrow or this weekend. The grass will still be there to mow in a couple days.

Learn your limitations and practice saying “no.” I promise it gets easier when you do it a couple times. And you’ll be a happier, healthier person.

Tackle a Tiny Thing

Sundays are all about self-care on Little-Spaces. As Littles, we can sometimes forget about self-care – possibly because we rely on our Bigs to manage things like that or because we’re simply overwhelmed with the rest of our lives. Every Sunday, I’m going to take a moment to talk about a self-care tactic you can use as a Little!

Today, we’re going to tackle a Tiny Thing.

Self-care isn’t all about baths and cupcakes and cute movies. Sometimes, self-care needs to be about doing things that need doing. But sometimes, doing those things feels overwhelming and impossible. That’s where the Tiny Thing comes in!

Just do a Tiny Thing. Just one.

What’s a Tiny Thing? It’s something small and insignificant on its own, but they can add up into the big ball of unmanageability that feels too overwhelming to handle. It’s something like replacing the burnt-out lightbulb in the hallway or cleaning the toilet. Don’t let yourself get trapped into thinking you have to check all the burnt bulbs or clean the entire bathroom. Do one, single Tiny Thing.

Why just one? Because it won’t overwhelm you. And if you chip away at the Tiny Things on the days that you don’t feel like you can tackle something big, you’ll keep them from ganging up together into something huge and overwhelming. Doing one Tiny Thing a day helps keep you moving toward a healthy lifestyle!

So trounce a Tiny Thing today! Pick up the dirty dishes from your bedroom. Put one basket of laundry all the way away. Take the trash out from the bathroom. Sweep the entryway. Just one Tiny Thing. I know you can do it!


Beating the Holiday Blues

Sunday here on Little Spaces are all about self care! And with the holidays upon us, I want to focus on what to do if you’re not in the festive spirit.

1. Know that it’s OKAY! There’s lots of reasons you could be feeling down during the holidays. You’re not broken or wrong for how you feel. That’s the most important thing to remember!

2. Get enough sleep! I know it’s hard, but try to take a nap. Get your favorite blankie and stuffie and take a little snooze. Getting enough rest helps keep you charged up. Speaking of staying charged up:

3. Eat something healthy. Nobody can survive on candy canes alone! I know you maybe don’t want to eat a vegetable, but maybe a piece of fresh fruit sounds okay!

4. Drink water. Juice may sound tastier, and you might even be tempted to try soda or booze – but water will really help perk you up. You’re a beautiful flower and you need healthy clean water to drink!

5. Move around. You don’t have to go on a five mile run, but getting up and stretching a little will help get your blood moving and your face smiling. Stretch up to the sky – can you touch a star? Reach for the ground! Take a quick walk outside if the weather’s not too bad. Snow is so pretty!

6. Do something you enjoy. You maybe don’t feel like doing anything super little. That’s okay. Try coloring or maybe watching a nice tv show. Nature documentaries can be really good! Just try for ten minutes.

7. Say “no” if you need to. You don’t have to do everything and see everybody. It’s okay to just be home alone for a bit and relax. Saying no for your own well-being is the right thing to do!