Setting Boundaries with Others Starts with You

setting boundaries

Staying connected is wonderful, but that doesn’t mean setting boundaries is any less important. Shrug off that anxiety and stress. Embrace your family and friends by letting them know your own personal boundaries.

(Photo by bongkarn thanyakij from Pexels)


Everything about how we live and love has now changed in a variety of ways. While some people might be using their free time to invest in new hobbies, countless others are struggling to get through each day. Communication and staying connected is crucial now more than ever, but so is setting boundaries for yourself and others.

Those who are at home with partners may be having trouble communicating. Others who live alone are wondering why a simple Zoom call makes them exhausted. There’s no doubt that our boundaries have changed, but learning how to communicate these boundaries to others has become a huge challenge in its own right.

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There’s nothing more important than communicating effectively with the ones that you love. After all, healthy relationships require physical space, and you might not be getting a whole lot of alone time at the moment. Even though 90% of baldness results from genetics, it wouldn’t be surprising to notice your hair thinning from stress right now. Below are some of the best ways to start setting boundaries and communicate them with others during this new way of life we’re all experiencing.


First, Identify Your Boundaries

There are basic boundaries we have with our friends, but we’re all experiencing a lot of changes in the way that we live. It helps to break down our necessary boundaries into two forms: emotional boundaries and physical boundaries.

Emotional boundaries have been stretched thin because of all the information we’re consuming online and on social media. When we’re unable to separate our daily lives from the constant threat of ongoing world events, it makes sense that we might feel a little tense. Make note of what sets you off and what makes you smile.

Physical boundaries are especially important right now in regard to physical space. This includes the boundaries you have with your family members, partners, and roommates. But it also applies to strangers you interact with in public settings. Even though we’re currently limiting the time we spend out of the house, we still have to go to the store or get in a walk. Luckily, shipping makes up 90% of the world’s trade and can ease your transition back outside. Ask yourself what makes you feel comfortable and why. Just like our emotional boundaries are being put to the test, the way we move in the world is undergoing intense change.

It can be helpful to realize that not all boundaries are static barriers. Keep in mind that some boundaries will change from day-to-day. One evening, you might enjoy a little help making dinner in the kitchen. This help might then seem stifling the next morning. The best thing you can do is listen to your body and work on communicating these feelings with your partner or roommate when they crop up.


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Practice Your Communication Skills

It can be surprisingly difficult to improve your communication with others if you’ve never done it before. Not only is it hard to express these feelings, but it’s also common to receive some pushback from loved ones who know that it’s rare for you to change your communication. Regardless, talking to your loved ones about your boundaries is necessary. It will help you maintain your mental and physical health. Here are some of the best ways to work on communicating effectively with your friends and family:

Let them know you’re working on your communication: Setting boundaries can be tough for both parties involved. Let your friends and loved ones know that you’re being gentle with yourself and that things are hard. Setting boundaries is also important for your health. Let your household know that you’re working on yourself. This communication will allow them to better receive and recognize your changing needs.

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Don’t put the blame on them: When we’re feeling irritable or frustrated, it can be easy to use language that puts the blame on others. Instead of asking someone to stop standing so close, introduce your concern with an emphasis on yourself. “I feel overwhelmed right now, would you please give me space?” That will go over much better than a frustrated “Stop standing so close to me!” This can be hard to remember in the heat of the moment, so if you do sound callous, be sure to apologize or talk about it later. We’re all struggling right now.

Be honest: Lying is never the best policy. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, say so! You don’t need to come up with an excuse to back out of a video call. Zoom fatigue from video calls is a real thing and it can be frustrating when all you want to do is chat in person. Tell your friends that you can’t chat tonight because you’re stressed or need some “me time.” You don’t need to divulge every reason as to why you’re feeling overwhelmed. Being honest will save you a ton of headaches in the future.



Embrace the Beauty of Routine

Our boundaries might experience minute shifts from day-to-day, but engaging in a regular routine will help minimize these stress responses. A structured day helps us feel more grounded in times of stress since we know what is coming next. Wake up at the same time each day, take a shower, eat a healthy breakfast, and make time to be active. Retain your health and you’ll always feel better.

Some days, all we can do is survive. But if you’re looking to be more productive, start small. Engage in an easy hobby or work on improving one aspect of your home each day. A leaky faucet can waste 3,000 gallons of water per year and can be resolved by tightening your pipes or calling a qualified plumber. Doing at least one productive thing each day will offer structure and reduce your stress in the long run.


Everyone is stressed right now, but few know how to communicate this stress effectively. When you want to set boundaries and improve your communication, rely on these tips to start feeling better about yourself and your situation.


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