How to set boundaries

You heard it here first – boundaries are THE buzzword of 2021. You’ve probably seen that viral meme by now; an image of Oprah with text saying ‘you get a boundary’ ‘you get a boundary’ etc and alluding to setting boundaries as a form of self-care.

I mean, they’re not wrong.

There’s something so powerful about setting boundaries. It really is a form of self-care – putting some checks and balances in place so we can better care for ourselves and effectively for others too. 

I love setting a boundary! Whether that’s being conscious of my doom scrolling and the news I consume in a day limiting my time around certain people, or even turning off notifications on all my social media, boundaries are the foundation to self-care. Here are our top tips on how to set a boundary:

  1. Identify why you need to set a boundary in the first place – knowing your why is so important because how can you set one up when you don’t understand why you need to put a boundary in the first place? Let’s take my doom scrolling on social media example… last year during the lockdown I found myself glued to my phone, doom scrolling, checking the news every five minutes, anxiously watching everything that was going wrong in the world. Yes, it’s important to be informed. But it’s also not productive (or healthy) to feel that much anxiety over something I did not have direct control over. Something I cannot fix all on my own. So I put a time limit on my scrolling… and finally had a good night’s sleep.
  2. What will you no longer tolerate? Knowing your limits and where you currently stand is one of the most important things to know when establishing boundaries. For me, I started by being more aware of how I felt around certain people and situations. The more I realised that the people or things I pour my energy over were actually making me feel a certain way, I was able to know what I will no longer put up with and was able to set that boundary in place.
  3. Communication is key – be clear, be concise, be direct.  Boundaries can feel confronting for some people but if they truly care about you, they will respect your boundaries. Don’t feel the need to over explain yourself and remember that ‘no’ is a complete sentence.