Boundaries - Why & How To Set Them
Healthy boundaries are a crucial component of self-care. All healthy relationships have boundaries. Boundaries are often thought of more as psychological or emotional, but boundaries can also be physical. Physical boundaries such as social distancing are especially important now during the COVID-19 pandemic. When boundaries are crossed or not properly established feelings of overwhelm, resentment, and anger can result. Which is why setting healthy boundaries can have many benefits in your professional, romantic partner, and parent-child relationships.
Many of us are working from home during this pandemic. Maintaining a good work life balance requires setting boundaries. Some ways my partner and I have set boundaries in our house during this time include designating a work space, setting daily working hours, and clearly communicating hours where we cannot be interrupted, so we can both keep stress levels and burnout at bay.
Boundaries in a relationship don’t come naturally, nor do they come easily. Setting boundaries with your partner in a relationship reflects who you are and who you want to be. Ways to set boundaries in a partner relationship is to have many open and honest conversations. Empower yourself to set healthy boundaries and take responsibility for your own happiness.
In parent-child relationships, boundaries are complex and ever-changing. Parents can establish boundaries around curfew, bedtime, what their child shares on social media, or asking the child to knock before entering a room. Providing children opportunities to feel heard, participate in family activities, and share in decision-making helps them build the skills necessary to navigate the demands of life. Setting boundaries with our children now will teach them to set boundaries for themselves as they mature.
Learning to set healthy boundaries takes time and is important to set in all aspects of your life. It is a practice and a process that takes determination. Your first time setting clear boundaries might bring up feelings of fear, selfishness, or guilt. Remember you have a right to self-care. You are only responsible for clearly communicating your boundaries. You are not responsible for the other person's reaction to the boundaries you've set. Whether it is in a long term partnership or someone you just met, understanding and respecting each other's boundaries is important. Take responsibility for your boundaries because your happiness is your choice.