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Miss Independent

By Caroline L. Carver

Taking back your independence can mean a lot of different things to a variety of people; it can mean getting back to your old self after a toxic relationship. Or you’ve suffered an injury and just recently recovered. Maybe you are just now at a place in your life to become independent on your own, like leaving your parent’s house for the first time. Regardless of your situation, all individuals wishing to seek independence must go through three key points to succeed.

The first step in establishing independence is creating boundaries for you and those around you. Boundaries are those limitations we create to keep a balance between our comfort zone and those things that give us the almighty “ick.” They can be both mental and physical. Whether it’s personal space or how many times you’re willing to forgive someone for the same mistake. Boundaries allow us to tell others, as well as ourselves, what we are willing to tolerate. Some of the most common boundaries people set are physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and moral. Everyone’s views on these will differ based on their own personal preferences and beliefs. Let’s take a quick dive into each of these:

Physical boundaries refer to your own personal space and who you allow in it. Some prefer closeness, others prefer a great deal of space. Where do you draw your physical line?

Emotional boundaries aim at your more personal needs. Do you need lots of reassurance to feel safe? Or do you prefer space for your mental clarity?

Sexual boundaries are very important. This is targeted at your most intimate desires. What are you comfortable with, and what pushes the envelope too much?

Financial boundaries are more personal. This is where you hold yourself accountable for your own financial decisions. What will you cut out or micromanage to help your wallet?

Moral boundaries are our last, but certainly not our least important pinpoint. Your morals are kept in a tight bubble. What you believe deep down inside is good and bad. So, what will you allow to happen, and what will you act against?

Regardless of your specific boundaries and what area of your life they target, your top priority is ensuring you keep those boundaries set in place after creating them. This means holding yourself accountable for your actions and making sure others are held accountable. Placing boundaries helps assure one’s own safety and sanity in the long term. If those needs are ever ignored or unmet within your personal or professional life, it is important to talk with those who can help assure your protection.

The second step in establishing your own independence is practicing the act of being alone. This is one of those things that is easy for some and the hardest thing in the world for others, depending on your personality type. Ways to practice being alone venture outside of simply isolating yourself in a room. You need to begin treating yourself like you would treat a close friend.

Speak kindly to yourself, especially on your bad days. Allow yourself to go on adventures alone; go on a walk in the park, explore a new coffee shop, buy yourself that thing you’ve been wanting for so long. Hobbies are another great way to keep yourself in tune with your own mind. This doesn’t mean you have to sit in a rocking chair and crochet (unless you’re into that, of course). You can start writing, painting, coloring, volunteering, binge-watching TV shows, or whatever brings you content and clarity. I have found from my own personal experiences that taking yourself out on a date is great for the soul. We as humans often feel special when someone else goes out of their way to show us that we are. But who says we can’t do that for ourselves? Go to your favorite restaurant, order your go-to meal, and sit and enjoy your own presence. There’s no need to feel awkward or ashamed of eating alone. It’s a gift! Soak it in. Becoming familiar with yourself as an individual, uninfluenced by those around you, is one of the most important things about finding your independence. Find your truest “you.”

The final step in establishing your own independence is planning. From personal to professional, all people can benefit from a well-planned life. Begin with your financials; mark down all your withdrawals or any heavy spending in the foreseeable future, and mark down pay periods as well. Then, move on to your professional points, important up-and-coming dates, and the weeks leading up to them. Make sure to include any projects you may need to complete before these dates and anything else that may contribute. After that, fill in any personal dates, Holiday trips, weddings, or even just long getaways. If you don’t have any, make some! You deserve to have something to look forward to. Finally, set goals for yourself. If weight loss is what you want, create a workout plan and fit it into your weekly schedule with a set goal date to try and accomplish it. Or maybe you want to visit your family more. Plan out weekends or times in your schedule when you can visit and spend more time with them. Remember, no goal is too small.

Creating a positive, independent life for yourself is never easy, but it will always be worth it. Maintaining boundaries, allowing yourself alone time, and planning are just some of the key points in establishing that independent lifestyle you crave. Don’t doubt yourself for a second. You are much stronger than you know, and your life is in your hands. What will you do with it?

Haley Brandon

Haley Brandon

Articles: 26

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