As women we often think that setting boundaries mean we are being difficult, whereas this boundaries act as an important way of ensuring and building your safety, dignity, and autonomy. If we deny ourselves of healthy boundaries, we will end up setting these boundaries in an unhealthy way that we would regret in the long run.
You may or may not have heard that Naomi Osaka announced earlier this month that she would not be participating in the post-match news conference during the French Open because of how negative questions about her play will affect her mental health.
Naomi speaking up, was so brave of her. When it comes to mental health we need to understand and accept that what is comfortable for us may be difficult for others to understand, but it should stop us from speaking up when we need to protect ourselves. Let’s talk practical steps and lessons we took away from the Naomi Osaka news.
- Put your mental health and well-being above anyone and everything else. Just like I mentioned in a previous blog, mental health check-in. Self-care means different things to different people, so find what works for you and stick to it. Also, when situations like this happen, always put yourself first, it may have looked like Naomi was being selfish, but she knew what she needed at the time, and she stuck to it.
- Set healthy boundaries and be willing to say no when people around you make unreasonable demands. Practice setting boundaries with things that are little, so when unreasonable demands from work, friendships or even family come up, you know how to handle it.
- Have a support system that can give you great advise, shower you with love and support. Having people to lean on and support your decisions when it comes to setting boundaries and putting yourself first is very important and plays a big role when you begin to doubt yourself.
- Practice self-love and avoid self-shaming. Your feelings are always valid, so rather than self-shame yourself for acting a particular way when a situation comes up, you need to talk to yourself and find out why that situation affected you in that way and if you need to talk to other people, your support system will be there for you.
- Take a step back and consider leaving the situation if possible. If the same situation keeps affecting your mental health, you must take a step back to create a reasonable boundary that can help. If you set a boundary that works for you, then you have saved yourself from leaving the whole situation. Just like Naomi did, she decided to not participate in the post-match news which saved her from leaving something she loved- tennis. A lot of times, rather than leaving a situation, taking that step back to think of ways you can make it work while protecting your peace is important.
I really learnt a lot reading about the Naomi Osaka news and I hope we all learn a thing or two from this post. Remember, our mental health plays a huge role in our general well-being.
Have the most beautiful week!