Setting Boundaries for My Health

My whole life I have been a people pleaser and over the years this has often been to my detriment. As I have continued to take my health seriously, I have paid some attention to my heart health. It has become apparent to me that a very important part of this journey is how to lay boundaries down to protect not only my mental health, but importantly to look after my heart health.

Family history of heart failure

Coming from a family where heart health has been an issue for many generations, it recently became a big focus of mine to take my health and my heart health into my own hands. In 2018 I sadly lost my dad to his heart issues and I am determined for that not to be my path too.

Not wanting to repeat this for myself or my daughter, I have been taking time to focus on weight loss and eating better. Also walking more and getting myself into better health, getting myself checked out and tested, and keeping an eye on my cholesterol, blood pressure, and all the rest.

I feel that I have come leaps and bounds in taking care of and sorting my life out. Just a few years ago I did whatever I wanted without any care for the ramifications of my actions on my health. I always believed that I was young enough to beat the odds. Since then I have matured and worked out that for a large part, it is in my hands.

The importance of setting boundaries for my heart health

So the part that has come to be very important to me about boundaries is to only do what I can. No more pushing myself past my limits. I have done that so much, I have found myself struggling with stress and panic attacks as a result of these choices. After a stern talk from my doctor, I decided to make the changes that I needed. The people pleaser within me has found this to be a very difficult task, although we are pushing through and learning as we go.

How to set healthy boundaries

In the beginning I found this part very challenging because I did not know what healthy boundaries were.  Nor did I know how to follow through on them, or even that they required follow through. 

To lead with an example I would give my child: If you continue this behavior (boundary) then I will have to disconnect all technology (follow through/consequence.) This way the person can be clear on what the boundary is, and what the follow through will be should that boundary be crossed.


One of the harder boundaries I had to set was with someone who I considered a dear friend. This one hurt, however her behavior and choices were constantly getting her into trouble. I would then pick up the pieces and sort her life out for her again. The boundary I had to set was that if you repeat this behavior I will no longer be able to pick up the pieces. That was the follow through, and unfortunately she continued to cross my set boundary and I had to follow through.

While it was very hard to follow through on this specific boundary, it did mean that I had significantly less stress on my plate. Once I had processed feeling guilty about this I started finding peace. This also paved the way for me to start setting more boundaries and figuring out which will actually make an impact on my health.

In closing, it is important to work within your capabilities of your physical heart health and mental health. Be kind to yourself. It is not worth over extending yourself at the risk of your health.

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