Self care includes, setting boundaries. During this time under lockdown, you may be sharing your space with the same people every single minute of every single day. Irritated much? Joking! but seriously! Spending endless amounts of time around the people you live with, requires that you set boundaries. This can entail, but may not be limited to- time spent separate from your family members and/or housemates. Boundaries can also be set, to institute greater comfort for yourself, as related to topics and activities based on varied levels of privacy amongst all.
Why should you set boundaries, around time spent with others?
Throughout your interaction with other people, you can lose sight of your own needs, and interests, your own thoughts and even your own breath. Creating time and space for yourself can help to provide you time to:
- re-energize, in order to return to being around others
- do things that only you choose to do, that do not need to be approved of, by your family members and/or housemates
- let your mind wander
Setting limits, with others, is a necessary part of all relationships, and certainly is an important part of quarantining with anyone in your home.
No Excuses Needed
The first thing to keep in mind about setting boundaries is that you do not need an excuse to set them. You do not need to be “actively working,” showering, cleaning, cooking, going to the bathroom, or on the phone to assign yourself time away from your family members or housemates. You can choose to create time for yourself, for no reason at all.
It is that simple.
When you set boundaries you are in fact, setting an example within your relationships. The time serves as a representation of the value you have for yourself, as well as your relationship with others. Additionally, when you make attempts to define limits with your children, you’re setting an example of a parent who makes time for one’s self, while allowing each child to have time separate from the parent-child relationship as well. If they need assistance with something during the time that they are separated from their parent, they should try to work it out or understand it themselves until the time is designated for them to ask the parent, if that need for help continues.
When setting boundaries with children, depending on the age of the child, you may need to organize the schedule to ensure coverage for the care of your child or children. Taking the time for yourself, is a necessary part of balance within your life . Trading on and off with another caregiver, or someone who can share the responsibility is highly relevant, in achieving that balance.
If the children are old enough to be separated from a caretaker, allowing yourself the time seems like it might be that much easier to achieve, but you’d be surprised- ha. Clearly defined boundaries between yourself and the others, should be outlined, even to include time frames. Depending on the child’s personality, you can choose to allow them to select something for themselves, that they can do on their own. You can also feel free to offer some options for them to choose how they would like to spend their time away from their together-time. You can let them know they can choose to:
- play an agreed upon game with sibling or siblings-by playing an in-home, or outdoor game
- spend time with a pet
- read- something
- write a story, poem, journal
- organize some part of their room, make their bed
- listen to music
- do something creative or artistic
When you love someone, it can be quite difficult to set boundaries. Perhaps you innately want them to have what they want, or even as much of you, as they want, but setting boundaries is an important part of the relationship between you, and anyone you care about. It does not mean you don’t love them or care about them. It means you have ideas, thoughts, knowledge, and self awareness, and you’re choosing to make time for all of that. It means you care about maintaining the relationship. If you’re not already instituting boundaries within your daily lifestyle, give it a try!