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Improve Life Quality Now by Enjoying Your Sundays

Improve Life Quality Now by Enjoying Your Sundays

Try a quick exercise. Look over your past week and see how much of your time was spent on work. Work also includes house chores, grocery shopping, errands, and minding the children. If work represents one of six slices of a pie chart, how big is that slice? Quite big, I bet.

We work hard so we can afford holidays or a move to a bigger home and improve life quality.  Don’t wait for a holiday or a new home to bring balance to your life.  Reserve Sundays for doing meaningful things you don’t get to do on weekdays and improve life quality now.

1. Slow Down

Turn off the alarm. If your internal clock wakes you up at the usual hour, use the time for deep breathing exercises or read inspiring quotes and experience positive emotions.  If you wake up late, that’s great! You’ve begun to enjoy your Sunday.

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The point here is to not have a schedule. Letting the day flow will allow more leisure time for recreational activities and for doing them at a leisurely pace.

2. Disconnect Electronically

Is this hard for you to do? Look back to an instance when you felt toxic and were ready to toss your phone out the window to get 15 minutes of uninterrupted time. This will make it easier to put your phone on silent and out of sight. Now is the time to give your laptop and other devices a rest too.  You may be surprised to discover engaging things to do minus your devices.

3. Notice and Appreciate Things

No strict schedules and no electronic devices equals a space of silence and freedom to just BE. Heighten your senses and attention to find joy in the simplest things—homey kitchen smells, new grass, children’s laughter, a leisurely shower, or your relaxed breathing. To measurably improve life quality, be aware of and appreciate the things that bring quality to your life.

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4. Enhance Your Home

The spaces you move around in affect your well being. Home is where you wake up every morning. Enjoy Sunday by engaging in a hobby—art, crafts, carpentry, gardening—and decorate your home in the process.  No such hobbies? Try rearranging the furniture, adding a couple of throw pillows, and organizing your book shelf, kitchen cabinet, or wardrobe closet.  Your enhanced living space would then be a pleasant place to come home to.

5. Sit Down for a Meal

Is your weekday breakfast an on-the-go affair where you munch on a sandwich as you hurry to the subway station?  How often do you get to have dinner with your family or partner?  Sunday is when family and friends can sit down, share a meal, and chat in a relaxed atmosphere.  Have fun preparing the meal together at home or make it a restaurant treat.

Ask light questions to get conversation going.  Be positive, listen fully, and appreciate these wonderful people you share your life with.

6. Help Someone Out

It could be your child asking for your opinion on a school project, an elderly neighbor needing some company, or a request for volunteers to pack relief goods for disaster victims.  Helping others moves focus away from yourself and brings meaning to life beyond mere accomplishment.

7. Do Something Just for You

Make Sunday a day to reward yourself.  Get a haircut, buy that nice shirt you’ve been saving for, have a massage, watch a matinee or a sporting event, or stay home to read, play video games, or nap.  The only rule: it makes you happy and is good for your health.

8. Attend to a Spiritual Practice

A spiritual practice is an activity that reminds you of your connection to the divine source. It could be a full-day facilitated retreat, a Sunday service, a quiet jog in nature, a gratitude journal, insightful books, or inspiring music. Keeping a meaningful connection to the divine lightens your perspective in life.

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Sunday is a day to forget work and to rediscover other areas of your life. A consciously-spent Sunday helps you appreciate work and allows you to handle the week’s stress. You gain work-life balance that will improve life quality starting right now.

Featured photo credit: Marya Oct.Calendar via flickr

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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