Day 2805: Healthy boundaries

Healthy boundaries are, according to “How to Set Healthy Boundaries” at

[…] those boundaries that are set to make sure mentally and emotionally you are stable” (Prism Health North Texas, n.d.). Another way to think about it is that “Our boundaries might be rigid, loose, somewhere in between, or even nonexistent. A complete lack of boundaries may indicate that we don’t have a strong identity or are enmeshed with someone else” (Cleantis, 2017).

Healthy boundaries can serve to establish one’s identity. Specifically, healthy boundaries can help people define their individuality and can help people indicate what they will and will not hold themselves responsible for.

While boundaries are often psychological or emotional, boundaries can also be physical. For example, declining physical contact from a coworker is setting an important boundary, one that’s just as crucial as setting an emotional boundary, i.e., asking that same coworker not to make unreasonable demands on your time or emotions.

I’m writing about healthy boundaries today because I’m approaching the boundary of my 17-day staycation from work. Healthy boundaries are particularly critical during these pandemic days of working from home, when the boundaries between work and non-work are blurred. Also healthy boundaries are especially important for self-care when you are working in a caring profession, like I do.

In order to set healthy boundaries, I find it useful to

  • write down a list of what I WILL do and what I will NOT do,
  • share that list with others, and
  • follow that list.

What I WILL do now is share my photos from yesterday. Let’s see if we can find any healthy boundaries in them.

As you can see from these two photos …

… Harley’s boundaries are changing, which is healthy for both of us.

This image from the The Kindness Rocks Project (which has healthy boundaries) …

… inspires my music pick for today.

Here‘s the Playing for Change version of “Listen to the Music” …

… and here’s a quote from Playing for Change:

In music as in life, the things that make us different make us stronger. All the various instruments, tones, perspectives, and cultures in this recording combine to create a new version of this classic Song Around The World.

The idea was born a few years ago during breakfast at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia. Our friend and drummer, Peter Bunetta, introduced me to Tom Johnston of The Doobie Brothers and we talked about taking “Listen to the Music” around the world. We started the track with an acoustic guitar demo played to a click track and then added bass from Colombia, tablas and veena from India, and then headed to the Redwood Forest in Northern California to record and film Tom Johnston live outside. We then recorded and filmed Patrick Simmons and John McFee playing along to the track in a park in San Diego. The journey then continued throughout North and South America, Europe, The Middle East, Asia, and Africa. This final version features 30 musicians from 12 countries united through their love of music.

Listen to the music and change the world!

-Mark Johnson, PFC Co-Founder

Here’s a comment from that YouTube video:

Geno M
10 months ago
This is going to sound dramatic and fake but I’ve literally been suicidal for the last 2 months especially this past weekend. I am on medicine and seeing therapists but there is a lot of downtime between getting help and being alone with your thoughts. These videos help me cope and really help me think about the good still left in the world making me try and appreciate what I have and my family. Thank you for uplifting folks and spreading good through music.

There is a healthy boundary between Geno M and me — that is, I can feel empathy for his struggle without rushing in to try to save him. These healthy boundaries are especially important for people who are in a caring profession, like I am.

If leaving a comment is on your list of what you will do today, I will leave you a healthy reply in the near future.

Thanks to all who help me create these posts and healthy boundaries, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, self-care, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Day 2805: Healthy boundaries

  1. your tax collage – I totally get! love that Harley is creating new boundaries for the common good, the same thing that the rock garden in doing, in asking that you enjoy and add to the garden, without taking the physical items from it to better serve the common good.

  2. Just say ‘NO!”

  3. Oh, that rock garden gives me hope! Humanity at its best. Thanks for sharing . . .

  4. What a positive post!

    Do you happen to know what kind of paint sticks well to rocks? I have begun to see some rock messages around here, too, near the hospital. I’d love to make one and bring it one day but am not sure whether any of my latex living room wall sample paints would work.

    Thank you for reminding me about the Playing for Change version of the Doobie Brother’s Song. I’m going to play it while I roll out paint right now.

    Hope you have a fabulous remainder of your staycation.

  5. puella33

    Today, I going to attempt to mount my elliptical bike. I called customer service, their number is not in service. I asked a neighbor to help me, even he said it is too complicated. I have a feeling I’ll just have to trash it and go to plan B which is to buy one in a local store, and have them put it together.

  6. A healthy boundary is also that Harley has made sure the cat statue is holding the Carl Jung’s figure in place so that the process of individuation in one’s life continues regardless of life’s misgivings.

  7. I hope I’m not overstepping by sharing a picture of our new puppy, Junko, named for Junko Tabei, who broke through a lot of boundaries.

    • You never overstep, Chris. Instead, you are giving me a wonderful picture of your new healthy puppy that I could share in my next post!

  8. I fear that the healthy boundaries are being compromised a great deal in many countries. Stay safe and well.

  9. Pingback: Day 2843: Stay calm | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  10. Boundaries are hard to establish. I’m always glad to learn more about them.

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