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Setting Boundaries to Achieve A Healthy Lifestyle

People will wear you out! As a parent and individual, setting boundaries is necessary to sustain a healthy life. So much time is devoted to your work-life, children, family, spouse, and extracurricular activities. Strength is found in setting necessary boundaries and being prepared to say, “No.”

As an individual, there are many boundaries you can set to ultimately achieve a healthy life. Elizabeth Earnshaw- LMFT provides 6 boundary types and how to maintain them.

The statements provided within this article are for factual purposes, only. If you are seeking additional help in the realms of setting boundaries and maintaining relationships, please consult with your local therapist.

What Are Boundaries?

Boudaries are not a reason to be unkind or build a brick wall. Establishing healthy boundaries are essential to healthy relationships. Without healthy boundaries, relationships do not thrive—they result in feelings of resentment, disappointment, or violation. Boundaries are your personal limits.

Types of Boundaries

Physical Boundaries

Physical boundaries center around physical proximity. This includes personal space and attending to your physical needs. If you are not a hugger, it is OK to let people know you do not like to be touched that way.

Healthy physical boundaries might sound like:

  • “I am really tired. I need to sit down now.”
  • “I am not a big hugger. I am a handshake person.”
  • “I need to eat. I am going to go grab something.”
  • “I am allergic to [insert here], so we can’t have that in our home.”
  • “No. I don’t want you to touch me like that.”
  • “Don’t go into my room without asking first.”

Physical boundary violations feel like receiving inappropriate or unwanted touch, being denied your physical needs (told to keep walking when you are tired or that you need to wait to eat or drink).

Emotional Boundaries

Setting clear emotional boundaries includes knowing how much emotional energy you have and how much you can give. Also, this includes knowing when and how to respond emotionally. If you know someone will react poorly to your emotional energy, limit how much you share with this individual. If there is a healthy emotional relationship between you and another individual, you may be more comfortable with sharing information.

Healthy Emotional Boundaries may look like this:

  • “When I share my feelings with you and get criticized, it makes me totally shut down. I can only share with you if you are able to respond respectfully to me.”
  • “I am so sorry you are having such a tough time. Right now, I am not in a place to take in all of this information. Do you think we can come back to this conversation later?”
  • “I am having a hard time and really need to talk. Are you in a place to listen right now?”
  • “I really can’t talk about that right now. It isn’t the right time.”

When the boundary line is crossed, you can expect the following:

  • Dismissing and criticizing feelings
  • Asking questions that are not appropriate for the relationship
  • Reading or going through personal and emotional information
  • Asking people to justify their feelings
  • Assuming we know how other people feel
  • Telling other people how they feel
  • “Emotionally dumping” on people without their permission
  • Sharing inappropriate emotional information with your children

Time Boundaries

Time is non-refundable. There is great value in protecting your time. Setting time boundaries means understanding your priorities and setting aside enough time for the many areas of your life without overcommitting. Setting time boundaries encompasses the ability to say, “No.”

Healthy Time Boundaries look like:

  • “I can’t come to that event this weekend.”
  • “I can only stay for an hour.”
  • “Do you have time to chat today?”
  • “I would love to help, but I would be overcommitting myself. Is there another time?”
  • “We have family time on Sundays, so we won’t make it.”
  • “I am happy to help with that. My hourly rate is…”

When these boundaries are crossed, it looks like the following:

  • Keeping people in conversations longer than intended.
  • Cancelling on people because we have overcommitted
  • Demanding time from people
  • Asking professionals for their time and not paying them

Intellectual Boundaries

Intellectual boundaries refer to your thoughts, ideas, and curiosity. Healthy intellectual boundaries include respect for the ideas of other people, and they can be violated when your thoughts and curiosity are shut down, dismissed, or belittled. 

Healthy Intellectual Boundaries look like:

  • “I know we disagree, but I won’t let you belittle me like that.”
  • “I would love to talk about this more, but I don’t think talking about it during Thanksgiving dinner is the best time.”
  • “When we talk about this, we don’t get very far. I think it is a good idea to avoid the conversation right now.”
  • “I can respect that we have different opinions on this.”

The presence of intellectual boundaries does not mean the acceptance of all ideas, concepts, and perspectives. Recognizing the differences between you and others and choosing to maintain a healthy relationship and discourse is the direction to take for achieving healthy intellectual boundaries.

Material Boundaries

Material possessions include your car, home, furniture and money. It is important to understand the items you can and cannot share with others. Having healthy material limits include the following:

  • “I can’t lend out my car. I am the only person on the insurance.”
  • “We can’t give any more money. We would be happy to help in another way.”
  • “Sure! I am happy to share my dress with you. Just a heads-up, I do need it back by Friday.”

Material boundaries are violated when your things are destroyed or stolen or when they are “borrowed” too frequently. Another material violation is the use of materials (money and possessions) to manipulate and control relationships.

Content provided by Elizabeth Earnshaw- LMFT

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#Budgeting, Positive Home Environment, Traveling

Apartment Vs. House – Why You Should Live In An Apartment Instead of A House

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Savings Account

Depending on the location of the apartment, this lifestyle can allow for an increase in savings on the renters side. Apartment renters have the option to save on monthly costs such as lawn care, maintenance and property taxes.


Who doesn’t love a good maintenance worker? Apartment living brings yet another benefit, on-site maintenance. Whether you experience a broken washing machine or a loose door knob, the apartment company will have maintenance fix this error with a simple request. This allows for peace of mind for apartment renters.


Apartment living brings its own flexibility including the option to move with short notice. In comparison to home ownership, apartment living allows renters the option to move without the hassle of putting a house on the market. Depending on the location of the apartment, some landlords will allow the tenant to move and sublet the unit to another renter.

Increased Safety

Many apartment complexes have gated communities, controlled access, security cameras, and extra fire protection. Apartment hunters should look for an apartment with increased safety measures to ensure their family is kept safe at all times. These measures include access cards, apartment alarms, smoke detectors and on-site security.


One major benefit of apartment living is the included amenities. Before renting an apartment, check with the company to see exactly what amenities are included in the deal. Many times, these include a pool, onsite fitness center, basketball and sports gym, and walking trails. Some apartments also come with a built in dog park and clubhouse for renters.

Apartment Vs. House

Overall, owning a home isn’t a bad idea. However, many millennials have opted for apartment living for many of the listed reasons above. Whatever the case, make sure you make your apartment a home for your family.

#Healthy, Parenting, Positive Home Environment

Creating a Stable, Structured, and Supportive Home Environment for Children

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Dean via Unsplash

“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” ― Dr. Seuss

Children thrive in consistency, predictability and follow through. Creating a stable, structured, and supportive home environment is the goal. Stable homes produce successful children.

Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and
environments are essential to prevent
early adversity, including child abuse and
neglect, and to assure that all children
reach their full potential

If you want to raise a child who is caring, organized, goal-oriented, and successful, you must provide a stable environment in which he can experience a childhood filled with both love and bonding experiences. Dr. Gail Gross, Human Behavior, Parenting, and Education Expert, Speaker, Author. Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed.

Dr. Gross provides insight on how parents can focus on providing a stable and supportive home environments. As parents, centering on the child helps promote wellbeing and positive experiences in the child’s life. The CDC states that child abuse and neglect are top public health problems being faced in the United States. Child abuse ranges from physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. Providing a safe, stable, and supportive environment prevents these types of abuse from happening in the home. According to science, children who experience instability in the early years are under stress. When a child experiences stressors relating to poverty, abuse, divorce, or insecurity, he or she produces stress hormone cortisol. This changes the architecture of the child’s brain and affects their impulse control. These same stressors also have a profound effect on a child’s ability to navigate through school successfully and the ability to interact with peers positively. In fact, stress can be a central cause for both emotional and physical illness, impacting your child’s overall health, school attendance and school performance.

What Are Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships?

All definitions are provided by the CDC.

Safety: The extent to which an individual is free from fear and secure from physical or psychological harm within their social, physical, and work environments.

Stability: The degree of predictability and consistency in one’s relationships as well as the social, emotional, and physical environments.

Nurturing: The extent to which parents and children have access to individuals who are able to sensitively and consistently respond to and meet their needs.

The experiences of children are centered around the three elements listed. Moreso, children experience the world through their relationship with nurturing and caring adults. Parents that are looking to strengthen the relationship between themselves and their children are encouraged to focus on understanding, helping, and enjoying them. Parents are also encouraged to devote uninterrupted attention to their children, everyday. This allows for serve and return interactions and for the child share their new ideas, thoughts and feelings. When children experience their feelings being validated, they are more comfortable with sharing with the adults in their life. Children need to know that their parents will respect, accept, and not minimize their feelings. As a result, children are more prone to demonstrate healthy serve and return interactions with their parents.

Raising a Healthy and Happy Child is The Ultimate Goal

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” — Dr. Seuss

Yes, that’s right. I don’t know one parent that does not want their child to be happy and healthy. This is the ultimate goal for most parents. Many times, parents focus on providing a home and the other elements (nurture and support) are overlooked. Children who consistently receive stability, support and structure are more likely to grow into successful adults. Parents are encouraged to focus on follow through when considering the aspect of consistency. For parents seeking to establish consistency, predictability and follow through, see the definitions of each below:

Consistency means that you respond to your child’s behavior the same way every time no matter what is going on or how you’re feeling. Consistency is doing the same thing every time.

Predictability means your child knows what will happen and how you will respond. Predictability is expecting or knowing what is going to happen.

Following through means that you do what you say you will do in response to your child’s behaviors. This is often called the “say what you mean and mean what you say.”

Parents can create structure and predictability at any age with their children. However, it is advised to start in the early years. Parents can begin with routines for important activities of the day, like meals, bedtime, or in the morning. Structure allows children to feel safe and secure, simply because they know what to expect. Children are able to be within the established rules and routines.

Creating a Positive Home and Positive Atmosphere

Alright, I’m not saying be overly positive. That’s not genuine and your children will be able to tell the difference. However, creating a positive home does allow for genuine and supportive interactions. Parents set the tone. Here are a few tips for parents looking to create a positive home and positive home environment:

Provide Praise and Encouragement

Children need to know when they have done something good! Praise them! Reward their efforts. Balance is needed with providing praise, as children need to feel supported when they struggle. Maintaining positivity is one way to support children during this time.

Instill a Positive Mindset

Build the mindset of your children up through positive affirmations. Children quickly learn “I” statements by doing so. “I CAN”, “I WILL,” “I AM”

Model the Behavior You Would Like to See

Using soft words and demonstrating soft actions demonstrates positive behaviors for your child. Children should not witness harse language and tones as this makes it okay for them to use.

Encourage Confidence

When children see their parents acting in a confident manner, they are likely to pick up the behavior. Parents are also encouraged to support your child’s confidence.

Animal Facts, Parenting, Positive Home Environment

5 Reasons to Own a Cat

Cats are cute, lovable animals and they make great house pets! House cats are the smallest cat within the cat family. However, that does not mean they are less curious! For cat owners, there is a special bond between the house kitty and the family. We recently adopted a new house cat from the animal shelter. As a previous cat owner, the goal is to create a loving environment for our new family member using prior experiences. Let’s explore 10 Reasons to Own a Cat.

Cats Are Cozy Creatures

Yes, that’s right. Cats love to snooze on and off all day. Cat owners can find their beloved feline sleeping in almost any location within their home. However, cats thoroughly enjoy sleeping in the sun or on a window sill facing the sun. Potential cat owners should be aware of cat claws when seeking to snuggle with their cat. Cats enjoy calm and relaxed environments. I am quickly learning that when adopting a new, fully grown cat, it takes the pet a little longer to get acclimated to their new home environment. With that, don’t expect your kitty to snuggle immediately.

In reality, cats sleep for an average of 12 to 16 hours a day, and older cats will nap for up to 20 hours a day. That’s a lot of time than your cat spends sleeping!

Cats Will Keep Insects and Rodents Away

Becoming a cat owner has another benefit, they are known to kill rodents and insects! Do you hate mice and lizards around your home? Cat also are not fond of these rodents. Once the hunt is complete, expect your sweet and lovable pet to bring home their catch!

Cat Are Fuzzy Stress Relievers

Stressed from work? Cat owners are encouraged to pet their cats head or stroke their fur, as a means of reducing stress. When you’ve had a hard day, coming come and spending some time petting a fuzzy feline can cause your body to produce stress reducing hormones. When you do so, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease and your anxiety levels normalize.

A cat purrs within a range of 20-140 Hz which is known to be medically therapeutic for illnesses in humans. A cat’s purr can not only lower stress it can also help labored breathing, lower blood pressure, help heal infections, and even heal bones. 

Cats Are Eco-Friendly

Kitten Dies After Catching Covid As Study Uncovers More Evidence Of  Human-To-Cat Transmission

There are many ways that pet owners can sustain an eco-friendly cat. Read more below:

  • Spay and neuter your cat
    • This will help with population control of stray cats.
  • Choosing to adopt a cat
    • Why not adopt a new kitty? These cats are just as lovable as purchasing a new cat from a breeder. Check with your local animal shelter about the cat’s history and medical records before adopting your new pet.
  • Purchase eco-friendly cat food and cat litter
    • There are many different types of cat litter for cat owners. Research before purchasing a new cat litter to ensure it is eco-friendly.
  • Keep cat indoors
    • Keeping your cat indoors once again helps with population control. Also, keeping your pet indoors helps with the potential of getting fleas and tics from the outdoor environment.
  • Search for sustainable cat toys
    • Cat owners are encouraged to search for cat toys that can be re-used.
  • Cats Are Low Maintenance

    While cats tend to have lots of fur, their overall care is low maintenance in comparison to other house pets. Cats can bathe themselves and are very aware of their personal pet hygiene. Potential cat owners do not have to worry about bathing their cat for many reasons. Generally speaking, cats bathe themselves for a number of health reasons including: elimination of parasites, stress management, and the distribution of natural oils throughout their fur.

    • Grooming not only removes mud and grime from cats’ fur, but it also helps predators and prey from identifying them. How do they do it? Some odors that have been absorbed within their skins are removed by the cat licking them.
    • Grooming distributes the oils created naturally by a cat’s skin and hair. As a result, this keeps her coat smooth, lustrous, and hydrated.
    • Isn’t there anything more soothing than a massage? Cats, on the other hand, are in the same boat! Instead of going to a masseuse, they groom themselves to relieve tension and relax.
    • To establish and reinforce their relationship, cats groom each other and their humans. Cats grooming each other in hard-to-reach areas are common.
    • Humans perspire. Dogs have a tendency to pant. Cats lick their own fur. When it’s really hot outside, cats wet their hair with saliva to keep cool.