Being in quarantine doesn’t mean you have to be available to your loved ones 100% of the time. Boundaries are healthy for every relationship.
1. Any Boundary that Supports Your Mental Health is ok During Quarantine
People all over the world are struggling with their mental health right now. Most of the people you know are probably as anxious as you are about quarantine. It is natural to reach out to our loved ones for mental health support.
It is also okay to feel overwhelmed by those seeking your support. Quarantine affects us all in our own ways. Some days you may feel good about talking them through their emotions. Some days you may need to focus on your own mental health. Setting boundaries allows you to do both based on your mental health needs.
Set boundaries during quarantine by sharing with your loved ones the ways they can respect your healthy space. Develop phrases you can use to signal to your loved ones that you can’t talk because of your own mental health, not because you don’t care.
Finally, give yourself the permission to maintain these boundaries during quarantine. Keep yourself from feeling guilty by using affirmations. I found one affirmation that helps me with this from Minaa B., an LMSW whom I follow on Instagram: “I am not the only resource available to someone, it is okay for me to say no, even during a crisis.”
2. Set Healthy Boundaries Around How You Spend Your Quarantine Time
Quarantine has made my schedule much more open than it was before. The world is in quarantine. We all have a lot of time on our hands. Just because I have extra time available to me, doesn’t mean I have to be available to everyone else though.
Unless it’s for your job or school, no one can require you to attend video calls. Just because you have nothing going on, doesn’t mean you have to answer every text right away. It really is no one else’s business how you spend your time during quarantine. Set boundaries by giving everyone a daily window of time, during which you will promise to answer. Tell them that they may contact you outside of that window, but if you don’t answer, not to take it personally.
3. Saying “No” is Healthy for Boundary Setting During Quarantine
Saying “no” to the ones you love is hard. I noticed it got even harder when quarantine started. It is easy to feel required to help your loved ones if you aren’t busy. If you say “yes” to everyone though, then you will have no opportunity to take care of your own mental health.
If the favors people are asking of you are too much, it is okay to say “no!” With any boundary you set, communicating what they are and why you’re setting them, will help your friends and family get on board with respecting them.