5 Signs Your Boundaries Need Adjusting

It's easy to let your boundaries slip, but you can reel them back in.

stressed woman Karolina Grabowska / Pexels via Canva

We all need to adjust our boundaries now and then, but knowing when to isn't easy. Luckily, psychologist Terri Cole has pinpointed five signs that suggest your boundaries might need a tune-up.

5 Signs Your Boundaries Need Adjusting

1. Procrastination

Find yourself doing things at the last minute? According to Cole, procrastination is a huge sign that you need to work on your internal boundaries.

Ontario Tech University writes, "When we feel anxious, overwhelmed, or stressed, we often cope by avoiding what stresses us out.”


But procrastinating only worsens our anxiety which in the long run can lead to burnout.

To combat procrastination Ontario Tech suggests:

  • Surround yourself with inspirational people.
  • Start small and build up.
  • Use a timer to give yourself breaks.
  • Put away your cell phone.

RELATED: How To Set Healthy Boundaries For Harmonious Relationships

2. Over-Functioning

“One sign of disordered internal boundaries is over-functioning in your relationships,” says Cole.

If you find yourself doing tasks for your partner that they can do themselves, you need to reevaluate your boundaries.

It may not seem like a big deal at first, but over-extending yourself can have drastic consequences. According to psychotherapist Imi Lo, “Potential problems with this dynamic include losing sex drive, resentment, and unhealthy family dynamics.”


So, how do we quit over-functioning? "If you want to stop over-functioning you need to work as a team," says Lo. Have discussions through a therapist or relationship coach. However, understanding the problem is the first step to resolving it.

3. Lack of Self-Care

According to Better Health, "Insufficient sleep can impact your brain’s functioning including your ability to remember, regulate emotion and attention, the speed you process information and the ability to have insight.”

Getting enough sleep also helps flush toxins out of your brain that can cause Alzheimer’s. But resting isn't the only thing you should be doing.

"Putting self-care at the front of your list is also important for mental health and self-confidence," says clinical psychologist Monica Vermani.


Be sure to wind it down and engage in relaxing activities. Read a book, put on a face mask, or exercise daily! As long as you're prioritizing self-care first that's all that matters.

RELATED: 8 Simple Ways To Start Setting Boundaries You Can Actually Keep

4. Emotional Care

When have you put your emotional well-being first? According to Cole, "If you haven't been taking care of yourself emotionally then you need to adjust your boundaries."



Ashley Everything for Recovery states that emotional self-care helps us adopt healthier attitudes and emotional stability.


Want to foster better self-care? Try doing these things:

  • Keep a journal to vent out your emotions.
  • Engaging in your passions.
  • Set healthier boundaries.
  • Practice relaxation methods such as yoga.

5. Self-Abandonment

Ever made a promise to yourself that you couldn't keep? Consistently doing this shows you need to develop better boundaries. Remember, that your betterment should never come last.

As clinical psychologist Dr. Tracy puts it, “When we abandon ourselves through people-pleasing or ignoring our own needs, we not only invite resentment and exhaustion into our lives, but we also have limited space for partnership to thrive.”

But how do we stop this pattern? Psychotherapist Heather Spurrell suggests making a list. In this list think of situations where you wish you would've responded differently.


Next, practice your new responses multiple times. Repeat the words you wish you had said so that when you encounter that situation again, you're ready to use them.

Understand that things are bound to get uncomfortable when you stand up for yourself. However, it's important to learn how to be comfortable in the uncomfortable.

By keeping an eye out for these signs, you'll have a better sense of when it's time to readjust your boundaries.

RELATED: 5 Little Rules People With The Healthiest Boundaries Always Follow

Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.