Setting Boundaries during Confinement

The fact you're at home all day doesn't mean you should be fully available. This is because you also need a break from messages and video calls and from those excessive telework days. As you can see, setting boundaries during confinement is healthy.
Setting Boundaries during Confinement
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Currently, teleworking is an increasingly widespread modality. In this era, most people use social networks, text messaging, and video calling services to connect with people. This is why many of us are often feeling overly tech-saturated. Interestingly, setting boundaries during confinement for the sake of your health seems like an irony.

Jane Wilde Hawking wrote in her book Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen that, when people fight against destiny, the only thing that matters is safeguarding survival. We’re sure this phrase applies to most people’s lives.

This is a hyper-connected world that offers many advantages. However, everyone must safeguard a valuable dimension: their own well-being.

“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.”

-Brené Brown-

Setting boundaries during confinement is healthy

It’s clear that betting on assertiveness and knowing how to set limits in certain situations is a guarantee of peace and mental balance. But nobody ever told you that you’d have to do it often in today’s society. It’s strange, to say the least.

Nowadays, it’s common to think that everyone should enjoy every connection via technology and social networks. Likewise, it’s common to think of work facilities as an unequivocal guarantee of well-being, without really stopping to think if it’d apply to everyone.

Despite the expectations and the facilities the digital world offers, one can’t always enjoy connections 24/7.

Teleworking and online education need refinement

Telecommunication companies indicate the connection peak begins at 9:00 in the morning. This is when most email exchanges occur.

On average, telecommuting working hours last up to 10 hours, instead of eight. And what’s more striking, many people easily set aside the time from 12:00 am to 3:00 am as part of their working schedule.

The reason is simple. They can’t concentrate during the day and have no choice but to work during those hours when, for example, their children are asleep.

Similarly, there are many shortcomings and imbalances in the field of online education. Some teachers limit themselves to sending exercises without explaining the subject matter online. Thus, evaluation systems aren’t always the most successful. And to this, you must add the technological factor: not all children have a computer.

Establishing limits in today’s society implies knowing how to organize. Proper time management in terms of teleworking would not only allow you to be more productive but also to avoid stress. Thus, and regarding online schooling, you must establish a limit on what you can and can’t achieve.

In most cases, children’s classes are an added burden to their parents. It’s a problem that society must assess and resolve.

Setting boundaries – being at home doesn’t mean you’re always available

As you can see, setting limits also implies that others understand that you aren’t always available. You may dread participating in a chat or a video call at times. This doesn’t mean you dislike someone. It’s simply that you might just want to read a book or even do absolutely nothing in order to relax.

A woman sleeping with a book over her face.

You must understand that each person has a rhythm and particular needs to meet. Sometimes, and almost without realizing it, people spend many hours making calls and writing messages. All of this is positive and it might be your daily duty. Nevertheless, everyone needs a break and time to themselves. Thus, setting limits is also healthy.

Setting boundaries during confinement is necessary

The need to set limits also comes from monitoring yourself and your needs. You need to do more than just raise external containment barriers. For instance, you must reduce the amount of information you receive.

In addition to better managing your time throughout the day, you must also build mental walls by informing your friends and family when it’s the best time to communicate online.

What does this mean, though? Well, it involves setting boundaries on excessive worry, for example. In addition, you must understand that well-being is knowing how to be assertive with others, but also with yourself. You’re only in control of what’s in your hands.

It’s true that some things are beyond your control and that your daily schedule is filled with fear and uncertainty. However, you must calm down and try not to anticipate situations that haven’t happened yet.

Finally, attending to your internal universe is as decisive as controlling what comes to you from your external environment. Well-being is about balance, so set limits and be clear about what you need the most at all times.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.