Do you have a hard time sticking to a budget? As recommended as it is, the 50:30:20 rule doesn’t work for everyone. In order to successfully manage your personal finances, you must make sure that your budget is specifically designed for your income and expenses. If you’ve noticed that you’re unable to save 20% of your salary because of your spending habits, try paying yourself first.

 

What is paying yourself first?

Paying yourself first puts the focus on saving first and then spending. With your savings contribution for the month moved out of the way, you’ll be able to spend what’s left without feeling guilty or worrying about eating into your savings. If this method works for you, it can be an extremely effective way to reach your savings goals each month. These consistent contributions can help you build long-term wealth!

 

Why should we pay ourselves first?

Of course, you can’t withdraw money from your savings account – unless it’s an emergency. The more you save, the more prepared you’ll be for financial emergencies, such as pay cuts, car repairs or hospital stays. If you’re unable to save because of your income, try reducing your expenses. Please don’t be ashamed of seeking financial assistance if downsizing still doesn’t work for you – there is nothing wrong with needing support.

 

How do we pay ourselves first?

Once your salary comes in, start by moving 10% of your income to a savings account. Don’t get too comfortable with that rate – observe your spending habits for the month and see how you can save more. Slowly increase the percentage each month until you find one that’s right for you and your financial goals. You can then automate this savings rate for more efficiency!

 

Paying yourself first takes away the burden of constantly having to track your expenses, which is a habit that many of us have trouble sticking to. Instead, it helps us build the more inviting habit of accumulating wealth. Keep experimenting with budgeting and saving, and remember not to be too hard on yourself. At least once you pay yourself first, you’ll feel a sense of reward and won’t feel guilty about spending money later that month.

As we go through another total lockdown, we can’t help but to feel anxious about our finances. Many jobs, hours and wages have been lost with thousands of businesses having to pause operations or permanently close. When facing uncertain situations like these, it is only natural to have an anxiety response, but if your fear has become overwhelming and disruptive, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. 

 

Money-related anxiety can cause your stress to reach unhealthy levels. Like other forms of anxiety, it can affect your physical health and daily life, causing insomnia, loss of appetite or inability to focus. If left untreated, anxiety can also develop into depression. Below are some signs often related to financial anxiety:

 

Overspending

 

Fear Of Spending

 

Financial Denial

 

Compulsive Behaviour 

 

Whether you find yourself engaging in these behaviours, or are looking to develop a more positive mindset towards money, here are healthier ways for you to cope with financial anxiety:

 

Manage your debt

 

Automate important payments

 

Create a budget

 

Track your spending

 

Develop an emergency fund

 

Seek help 

Every year, on 5 June, World Environment Day is celebrated to encourage governments, businesses and citizens to do their part in protecting the planet. The global platform highlights the importance of nature, inspiring action to be taken against pressing environmental issues. From sustainable consumption and environmentally-friendly businesses, to ecological restoration and education, positive change is needed for a greener future!

 

There’s no denying that more people care about protecting the environment these days, but the term “sustainability” has turned into a buzzword that’s thrown around in marketing campaigns. As more companies and brands have grown to focus on sustainability, it’s become harder to understand what that word actually means. By definition, sustainability is “the use of natural products and energy in a way that does not harm the environment”. When companies and brands claim to be sustainable, are we, the consumers, able to tell if it’s true?

 

This World Environment Day, we would like to introduce you to the latest sustainability platform, Upcycle4Better, founded by sustainable fashion advocate, Seri Mizani, and visual storyteller, Hafreez Amminuddin. With their stellar combination of creativity and innovation, that’s a match made in heaven, Upcycle4Better is on a mission to create a community that’s inspired by the beauty of maintaining environmental sustainability through upcycling. After all, team work does make the dream work! Below, they break down sustainability to help us, as consumers, understand the impact of our actions and choices.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Upcycle4Better (@upcycle4better_)

 

What is sustainable consumption?

Seri: Speaking based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12, in my understanding, sustainable consumption is about moving towards green growth and getting to a point where we all could provide a triple-win perspective – a balance between the people, the economy, and specifically the planet. To make it simple, it means with whatever choices you make, you have to consider “is this going to harm the people, the planet and the ecosystem in the long run?”. I know, it’s so intense! It’s a lot to take in and it’s easier said than done too.

We’re only at the start of finding sustainable ways when it comes to our day-to-day consumption and lifestyle. However, I do believe that the pandemic has heightened our environmental awareness. I feel like some of us have been slowly implementing sustainability in our lives without realising it, such as buying from local small businesses, eating more plant- based, or just reusing the same baju for 3 straight days because we’re just working from home, haha!

Anyways, personally, how I see sustainable consumption at the moment, is making sustainable choices / decisions that are achievable for us. Start small. Going for a sustainable lifestyle will not happen overnight, so do what sparks you!

How can we build a sustainable culture here in Malaysia?

There are a good amount of things that we can do as individuals to minimise our impact and create a better relationship with our environment. However, there is more that we can do as a collective.

Building a culture means having the like-minded people with the same values. Right at this moment, realistically, building a sustainable culture in Malaysia means educating the people around us on what it means to be “sustainable”. There are people who still see it as vague, which is understandable.

Most of us were not taught to understand what sustainability and caring for the planet means. Not even in school. That is why we do believe education is key when it comes to building a culture, especially if it is a sustainable one.

What are some affordable ways people can practice sustainability?

Up-cycling, of course! It’s the most economical way to practise sustainability. You can do it with food by making leftovers, repurposing empty jars, or restyling your old clothes. There’s a lot of ways!

Keep up with Upcycle4better’s efforts and join their community by following them on Instagram!

Remember the self-care ratio we shared? It narrowed down the focus of self-care to: future relief, instant relief and basic needs. Instant relief is also known as self-soothing, which is a short-term fix to a stressor. It’s the candles, bubble baths and other quick remedies that provide us with short-term stress-relief.

 

Self-soothing is a skill that can help us cope during these overwhelming times and tolerate the uncomfortable emotions we’ve been feeling on a daily basis. From experiencing big life changes, to emotional exhaustion and burnout, it’s become crucial for us to know how to handle these tough situations by calming ourselves down, making space for difficult feelings and developing a perspective.

 

If you shake your legs when you’re agitated, or bite your nails when you’re nervous, you’ve actually been self-soothing. Without even knowing it, that’s how you’ve been comforting yourself when facing anxiety, fear and trauma – it’s your way of letting yourself know that you’ll be okay. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to learn how to self-soothe.

 

Learning how to self-soothe teaches us how to notice the strong, unpleasant feelings during moments of stress and anxiety, before we start to feel overwhelmed by them. Being able to identify and acknowledge these negative emotions allows us to consciously choose healthy ways to cope, find our balance and be kind to ourselves. Without it, we may find ourselves turning to unhealthy coping tools, lashing out or completely avoiding the situation.

 

To self-soothe, pay attention to your five senses – touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. What self-care activities appeal to each one of them and, to put it simply, feel like a warm hug? Remember that we all find comfort in different things, so it isn’t a one-size-fits-all practice. Here are some self-soothing strategies to get you started!

 

Touch

 

Sound

 

Sight

 

Smell

 

Taste

 

Avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms, like drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and binge eating, because these compulsive cravings will cause further stress and anxiety.

Lately, we’ve been experiencing information overload and consistent bad news, so scrolling through social media isn’t the best way to relax and unwind after a stressful day. Reading can help you relieve stress and escape from the anxieties of the real world. Some self-help books feel hard to read, they’re either too practical or too spiritual, and forcing yourself to focus will be more exhausting than relaxing. 

 

We’ve found five entertaining books that you can add to your self-care ritual! They’re inspiring, fun to read, and will help you improve your life. These books are written as if the author is right next to you, guiding you and cheering you on. Remember to choose the right book for you, one that you can benefit from, and apply what you read to your life. Reading can make you happier and healthier!

 

The pandemic has reminded us of what is truly important in life, which is also the foundation of a minimalist lifestyle. This book shares how to find happiness in simplicity, and use minimalism to improve your health and relationships. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately, this book can help you eliminate unnecessary commitments and stress from your life, as well as bring more joy by celebrating the small things.

 

Self-care books can be cheesy, but this relatable read offers a refreshing and engaging experience. Written by a fellow millennial, the author is honest, and hilarious, as she guides you on a journey of self-love and acceptance with simple self-care rituals that have worked for her. For realistic advice to help you refine your daily routine, pick up this book and put her self-care practices to play!

 

Written by a psychotherapist, who is also a New York Times best-selling author, this book is for those who are curious about giving therapy a go. It gives you a behind-the-scenes look of what it’s like to be a therapist, and at the same time, places the therapist in the patient’s chair, opening you up to the process and importance of therapy. The book demystifies therapy, de-stigmatises mental health and humanises therapists in a witty and wonderful way.

 

Although this book is written for those who live in the US, the financial wellness advice from most chapters can be helpful for everyone and applied everywhere. It offers a friendly approach to finance, which can be a tough and intimidating topic, but this book manages to make the complex ideas easier to understand. Grab yourself a copy and you’ll be well on your way to financial literacy!

 

This anti-diet book dismantles diet culture and helps you reclaim your health. The author highlights how harmful diets are for our mental and physical health, and shares how to stop feeling guilty about eating, allowing us to enjoy food better. It promotes intuitive eating, which is when you listen to your body instead of society, and aims to heal unhealthy relationships with food for a healthier version of yourself!

The persisting stigma surrounding menstruation can be seen by the many euphemisms that exist for the term: “shark week”, “code red”, “female trouble”, “time of month”, “Aunt Flow”…and these are just in English! While some may be entertaining to use, they are actually harmful as they reinforce the idea that having your period is something to be ashamed of and should be hidden from others. Because of this stigma and taboo, menstruation isn’t discussed as openly as it should be, and this leads to false information being shared from generation to generation. It’s now become crucial to have open conversations about periods, and dismantle cultures of misinformation and shame that have been around for centuries.

Let’s debunk these menstrual myths to prove how healthy and normal menstruation is:

 

MYTH #1
“EW, PERIOD BLOOD IS DIRTY!”

This is one of the oldest myths that have been around, and passed down from generation to generation. Period blood isn’t dirty blood. Period blood is simply a different form of bodily fluids (which is naturally secreted by the body) that contains a little bit of blood, uterine tissue, mucus lining and bacteria.

 

MYTH #2
PERIODS = WOMANHOOD

We’ve all heard the notion, “Once you get your period, you become a woman”. Now, throw that notion out the window! Not all women menstruate and not everyone who menstruates is a woman. Periods aren’t experienced by cisgender women only – they are also experienced by trans men, and non-binary, genderqueer and intersex individuals.

 

MYTH #3
“YOUR PMS IS NOT REAL / YOU’RE JUST BEING DRAMATIC”

For those who menstruate, PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) is a naturally occurring monthly change in their body – not a mindset! Right before a menstruation cycle, the sex hormone (oestrogen and progesterone) levels drop drastically, causing emotional and physical symptoms such as mood swings, tiredness, painful cramps and headaches. When the human body experiences these changes, it is bound to affect their emotions and reactions to daily stressors. It is not made up or an excuse – it is very much real!

The next time your period causes you to not feel like your usual self, please remember that it is completely normal and perfectly okay to feel that way.

 

MYTH #4
“YOU WILL LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY IF YOU USE A TAMPON / PERIOD CUP”

The sanitary products developed for dealing with our periods are predominantly safe and won’t affect your virginity at all. These products, which are designed to go inside of you, may cause the hymen to stretch. However, they will not cause someone to lose their virginity. Check out our list of safe, eco-friendly and organic period products here!

 

MYTH #5
LATE PERIODS = PREGNANCY 

False! There are plenty of reasons why a period might be late. Sudden weight loss, stress, contraceptive pills and irregular periods can affect your menstrual cycle – hence, making your period late. If you’re worried, take a pregnancy test to ease your mind or visit your gynaecologist. Don’t forget to practice safe sex!

You can understand your period cycle better by downloading period tracker apps like Flo and Clue.

 

It can be extremely empowering to exchange experiences, information and ideas about menstruation. By encouraging candid conversation about periods, we are supporting the individuals in our lives, and breaking the taboos and myths around them. Having your period is a normal thing – as ordinary as having to go to the bathroom! No person should ever be held back just because they are on their period.

You may have skipped school because of period pain, or have gone home early because of a stain, but in many countries, including Malaysia, children have been missing school because they can’t afford menstrual hygiene products or are afraid of being bullied for having their periods. 

 

Period poverty is a global problem that affects up to 500 million individuals (more than 800 million people menstruate daily). They have limited access to sanitary products and hygiene facilities, such as toilets, handwashing facilities and/or waste management. This human rights issue is exacerbated by the lack of education on menstrual health and hygiene, and the prevailing taboos and stigma. As a result, millions of individuals are held back from reaching their full potential at school and work because it threatens their opportunities, health and overall social status.

 

In Malaysia, the pandemic has made matters worse. Individuals in poor urban areas were already struggling to find an absorbent substitute for unaffordable sanitary pads, resorting to paper, newspaper and ‘kain batik’. In rural areas, they’ve even had to make use of coconut husks and banana leavesNot only are these ‘alternatives’ extremely uncomfortable, the unsanitary conditions they provide put wearers at risk of developing infections, which can lead to serious health issues.

 

Period poverty doesn’t just affect girls and women, it is a global sanitation problem. According to UNICEF, 2.3 billion people live without basic sanitation services worldwide, and in developing countries, only 27% of the population have a hand washing facility (soap and water) at home. The lack of education on menstrual health and hygiene among boys and men also harms for those who menstruate, as it affects their confidence and social solidarity. 

 

Menstrual Hygiene Day is a global advocacy platform that promotes good menstrual health and hygiene for all. Their goal is to end period poverty and stigma by 2030 by raising awareness and breaking the stigma around menstrual health and hygiene, and engaging decision makers to increase action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene at global, national and local levels. 

 

Achieving menstrual equity worldwide will empower people to manage their menstruation safely and hygienically, with confidence and without shame. It will allow everyone access to menstrual products, proper toilets, hand washing facilities, waste management, and education.

The fourth annual Women of the Future Awards Southeast Asia, the only movement of its kind to recognise and nurture the pipeline of young female talent across the region, in association with NTT, announced today 61 shortlisted finalist across 11 countries comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly revealed the enormous reliance on women at home and in the essential services and, as identified by the UN, it has put hard-fought gains for women’s rights and representation of women across all industries under threat. It is therefore more important now than ever to shine a light and recognise women’s leadership and nurture, develop and support female talent.

 

This year’s line-up is phenomenal, with candidates from all over the region and from truly diverse sectors. From business dynamos and entrepreneurs to athletes and academics, the women shortlisted work tirelessly to empower others, forge new paths and positively impact their colleagues, communities, and the world at large.

 

The number of nominations received – the highest since the initiative launched in 2018 – reflects the growing and diverse pool of female talent in the region, with shortlisted candidates from backgrounds ranging from astro-physicists to Olympic gymnasts, to human rights lawyers and architects.

 

The finalists from each category comprise:

Arts & Culture

  1. Nandini Balakrishnan (Malaysia)
  2. Adana Legros (Cambodia)
  3. Melissa Tan Li Hsia (Malaysia)
  4. Pamela Poh Sin Tan (Malaysia)
  5. Red Hong Yi (Malaysia)

Business

  1. Angie Ang (Brunei)
  2. Sharlene Chan (Singapore)
  3. Imeiniar Chandra (Indonesia)
  4. Josefhine Chitra (Indonesia)
  5. Sharon Tan (Singapore)
  6. Sarah Voon Ruyen (Malaysia)

Community Spirits & Public Service

  1. Ruby* (Philippines)
  2. Sereyrath Aing (Cambodia)
  3. Thae Su Aye (Myanmar)
  4. Manoly Sisavanh (Laos)
  5. Jonia Leite Soares (Timor Leste)
  6. Maria Glorian Tomen (Philippines)

Entrepreneur

  1. Pratiwi Hamdhana AM (Indonesia)
  2. Amanda Cole (Indonesia)
  3. Tan Nini (Malaysia)
  4. Thyda Thaung (Cambodia)
  5. Abetina Valenzuela (Philippines)

Media & Communications

  1. Hou Hemmunind (Cambodia)
  2. Falencia Naoenz (Indonesia)
  3. Panha S. Theng (Cambodia)
  4. Benjienen Toledo (Philippines)
  5. Alice Yu Yuebo (Singapore)

Mentor (open to both women and men)

  1. Ireen Catane (Philippines)
  2. Duncan Hewett (Singapore)
  3. Konthea Mean (Cambodia)
  4. Mikaela Luisa Teves (Philippines)
  5. Ma Carmela Vilela-Toreja (Philippines)
  6. Phillia Wibowo (Indonesia)

Professions

  1. Nur Amalina Che Bakri (Malaysia)
  2. Grace Chong (Singapore)
  3. Maria Pilar Lorenzo (Philippines)
  4. Izreen Ramli (Malaysia)
  5. Jiraporn Sindhuprai (Thailand)
  6. Busayapa Srisompong (Thailand)

Property, Infrastructure & Construction

  1. Lim Wai Cheng (Singapore)
  2. Veronica Ng (Singapore)
  3. Chan Pichmonyka (Cambodia)
  4. Mei Tan (Malaysia)
  5. Quek Su Jun Edwina (Singapore)

Science, Technology & Digital

  1. Nur Adlyka Ainul Annuar (Malaysia)
  2. Regine Chan (Singapore)
  3. An Dongmei (Singapore)
  4. Irene Lock Sow Mei (Malaysia)
  5. Yi Lin Ng (Malaysia)
  6. Malypoeur Plong (Cambodia)

Social Entrepreneur

  1. Souphaphone Dangmany (Laos)
  2. Huong Dang (Vietnam)
  3. Louise Emmanuelle d.G. Mabulo (Philippines)
  4. Raudhah Nazran (Malaysia)
  5. Aida Zunaidi/Wei Qi Wong/Ming Chi Toh (Malaysia)

Sport

  1. Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (Malaysia)
  2. Bùi Thanh Huyền (Vietnam)
  3. Lao Khang (Laos)
  4. Jen Macapagal (Philippines)
  5. Nicole Tiamzon (Philippines)
  6. Qinthara Nabigha (Indonesia)

The winners of the Women of the Future Southeast Asia Awards 2021 will be announced on 6 October, 2021 at the awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel Singapore.

More details can be found on here.

Do you constantly feel overwhelmed, run-down or anxious? If you answered YES to at least one of them, it’s time for you to have some ‘ME-time’ and focus on your self-care.

Self-care is any behaviour, action, or tool that helps reduce a person’s stress level and possibly avoid health problems, mentally and physically. Our proposed ratio is 20:30:50. 20% for Future Relief, 30% for Instant Relief, and 50% for Basic Needs. All of it comes together to ensure you lead a well-balanced life!

 

20% : Future Relief

We should always strive to live in the moment as “now” is the only time that matters; but when we practice these healthy habits, we are helping our future selves to be more mindful, centered, and calm.

For future relief, you should utilize these ‘tools’:

  • Journaling

Keeping a journal helps to analyze your moods, problems, concerns, and fears. Tracking this daily helps you recognise your triggers and stressors, and you can find ways to better deal with them.

  • Resolutions & Goal-Setting

Align your focus and goals to sustain good momentum in life. This is an easy method of guiding you to your end target.

Feel free to check out our guide to making mindful resolutions for your life!

  • Therapy

Explore your feelings, thoughts, patterns of behaviours, and trauma causes through therapy. Learn new coping techniques and skills to manage daily stressors, as well as symptoms that may be associated with your diagnosis.

There are many types of therapy, explore which you would like to try out here.

 

30% : Instant Relief

There are plentiful ways to instantly raise our ‘happy’ hormone levels! Try these out when you want a little pick-me-up:

  • Turn Up The Music

Listening to happy music alleviates your mood and stimulates creative thinking. Shake your booty while you’re at it too! It doesn’t just burn calories, it boosts moods and body image. Here’s our fun self-care playlist that you must check out!

  • Laugh Out Loud

Laughter truly is the best medicine. Our mental and physical health improves when we let loose with a little laughter. Here’s a plan of action: Watch a funny movie or comedy series – those reruns of “Friends” and “Brooklyn 99” may actually be beneficial for your heart!

  • Meditation

Practicing meditation proves that it doesn’t take a lot of time to do the body and mind good. Quieting the mind for just a few minutes helps reduce stress and anxiety. If you dislike the ‘typical’ meditation method of sitting cross-legged, fret not – There’s More Than One Way To Meditate – Find Out What’s Best For You!

 

50%: Basic Needs

Often ignored but extremely necessary, these Basic Needs are what make up the majority of leading and living a good life. Maintaining this helps us sharpen our physical and mental health through better stress management, better self-esteem, and overall well-being.

  • Sleep

Prioritizing snooze time is important for a healthier, happier you! Skipping out on shut-eye may hurt your productivity and reduce your abilities to make rational decisions – not to mention the imbalance of hormones it could cause. It is vital for you to allow your mind and body to rest and recuperate so you can function at 100%!

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Drinking enough water every day is crucial – the body needs it to perform its tasks well. From regulating the body temperature, ensuring your organs function properly, and preventing infections. When you’re well-hydrated, you also improve cognitive function, mood, and sleep quality.

  • Exercise

The benefits of exercising are bountiful – it decreases risk of diseases, releases stress, reduces feelings of anxiety, increases “happy” chemical levels in the brain, and many more! Sneak in a quick 10-minute workout or a 15-minute walk and get your body moving.

  • Fuel Up On Healthy Food

Indulging in ‘junk’ food is necessary self-care from time to time, however, you should fuel your body daily with foods that nourish you best. Consuming fewer sugars, salts, saturated and industrially-produced trans-fats ensures a healthier diet. Plan your meals and choose nutritious foods, so you can perform your best, every day. Healthy you = Happy you!

 

Assess which parts of your life require more self-care and attention; and reassess your life often! As your daily situation changes, so should your self-care needs. When you are caring for all areas of yourself, you’ll likely see an upgrade in many parts of your life – especially your health and relationships.

Have you ever experienced shavasana during a yoga practice? If yes, then you’d know how relaxing shavasana can be while simultaneously providing you with more energy, and clarity, after. If no, then here’s another method to feel the same: napping!

 

Why You Should Nap More

When thinking of ways to boost your productivity while working from home (WFH), napping is most certainly not the first idea to come to mind. In fact, most people view napping as an activity strictly reserved for children and / or seniors. To some, napping is even considered a waste of time – an interference to minutes spent productively. 

 

Yet, science has proven again and again how napping, regardless of age, is beneficial:

 

What Type Of Nap You Should Take

Considering the aforementioned benefits, it makes total sense to incorporate napping into your WFH schedule. However, napping will also be of benefit to you in these scenarios:

 

What To Keep In Mind 

As to really reap the benefits of a nap, timing is everything. For those unaware, while you’re asleep you move through various stages of sleep, depending on the brain waves you’re accessing and its effects on your eye movement. Without getting too science-y, here’s what you need to know:

 

With that in mind, the ideal length for an in-between work nap would be anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Napping within this timeframe is commonly referred to as a ‘power nap’ as it provides recovery benefits without any of the grogginess post nap. As for what time to nap, aim for the halfway point between when you awoke and when you plan to sleep. Reason being that if you nap too late in the afternoon or in the early evening then you may struggle to sleep – which you definitely don’t want!

 

Wild Ginger wishes you happy napping ahead 🙂

The holidays are coming up and traditionally, it’s a much-anticipated time to get together with loved ones and enjoy a hearty meal, but it can still be physically and emotionally taxing. From hosting gatherings and visiting family, to backhanded compliments, passive-aggressive comments and political debates, these stressors and challenges can leave us feeling exhausted by the end of the holiday season.

 

Instead of spending your holidays in a state of discomfort this year, Jade Goh, a junior associate mental health practitioner at The Mind Faculty’s TMF Academy, shares her professional advice on setting healthy boundaries with your family for a happier holiday.

 

Why must we set boundaries?

“Boundaries are important because they protect our time, our energy and our resources. They teach people how they can and can’t treat us. They also teach us how we should and shouldn’t treat ourselves. For example, look at the boundaries you’ve set with how you allow people to talk to you. Do you allow them to discuss your body image? Does this make you feel comfortable or does it affect how you view yourself? Is it okay for you to feel bad about yourself so long as you are not upsetting someone else?”

 

How can we set boundaries with hurting anyone’s feelings?

“In Asian cultures, we are taught to conflate love with sacrifice and obedience. For example, “After how much we’ve paid for your education, you treat us this way”. Consequently, when we set boundaries with our family members, it is very common for someone’s feelings to be hurt as they may construe this as you not loving them. When setting boundaries, acknowledge the effort that your parents have made and remind them that you love them. For example, “I am so grateful for the opportunities you’ve given me and I do love you very much. However, it is important to me that I spend time with my friends to take care of my mental health. Let’s plan a family lunch on Sunday”.”

 

How can we set effective boundaries?

“Effective boundaries are kind and firm. When you set a boundary, be prepared to follow through. For example., “I’m not comfortable with you talking about my weight. Can we please discuss something else?”. If your boundary is violated, remove yourself from the situation. If the person doesn’t respect your boundary – an example of this is calling you rude for walking away – re-state your boundary kindly and firm. “As I said, this conversation makes me feel uncomfortable. While I can’t stop you from discussing my body, I need to take care of myself”.”

 

What if we feel guilty for setting boundaries?

“When we first set boundaries, we may feel guilty because we feel that we have to show love or care in a certain way. For example, choosing a career your parents want or spending all your free time with your parents. However, ‘love’ becomes an obligation and we may feel resentful or drained. When we set boundaries around our time, resources and energy, this allows us to better show up for our relationships because we are making a choice to be there. For example, taking the initiative to plan a family board game night instead of feeling obligated to have dinner with them every night. Consequently, we’ll be more present and more engaged in our relationships. 

If your family members try to guilt you, they are trying to make you responsible for their feelings. For example, “If you don’t show up for dinner, your mum will be upset”. It’s important to remember that the only feelings you are responsible for are your own. It’s great that your mum misses you, but she is also making a choice to be upset about your attendance. If you do show up for dinner, she may be mollified for the time-being. If you don’t show up for dinner tomorrow, she’ll be upset. Over time, you may feel resentful if you have to give up the things you want to do to manage your parents’ emotions. You may lash out or withdraw from them. This does not build your relationship in the long-run. 

So even if you feel guilty or you feel ‘guilted’, remind yourself that you are drawing boundaries so you can better show up for your loved ones.”

 

When should we set boundaries?

“Set boundaries if your relationship makes you feel: 

 

What should we do if our boundaries are disrespected?

“Follow through with the boundary you set. Remove yourself from the situation if you can or withdraw from the relationship until the person respects the boundary that you set.”

 

Follow The Mind Faculty on Instagram for more advice on setting boundaries and learn more about their affordable therapy services here.

Although mental health is as important as physical health, the essential services needed to take care of our mental wellbeing are not as accessible as they should be. Many are not able to seek help for their mental illnesses or benefit from therapy because they cannot afford the premium prices.

The Mind Faculty, a private mental health clinic in Solaris Mont Kiara, aims to tackle this problem with TMF Academy. Their TMF Academy Associate Practitioner Program offers high quality mental health services at affordable prices, starting from RM120. To ensure that therapy is accessible without compromising the quality of services, TMF Academy’s Associate Practitioners are supervised by a senior practitioner from The Mind Faculty.

Seeking help is important for everyone, therefore, therapy should not be a luxury. Mental health services are a necessity for individuals and society, to reduce the cost and impact of mental illness, and enhance overall wellbeing and happiness.

Make an appointment with TMF Academy now and follow The Mind Faculty on Instagram for mental health advice.