Self-Care and Boundaries

When beginning to engage in self-care activities, it is important to build boundaries with not only the people around us, but ourselves as well.  Let’s look at an example of a scenario and how these boundaries can be created.


My partner and I have been arguing for the last hour about unfinished renovations in the home.

Boundary with a partner

“I am beginning to feel overwhelmed with this conversation, we have been discussing it for an hour. I need to take a time out, and go for a walk. I will be back in half an hour, and I would appreciate that you allow me that time to sort my thoughts and feelings out.”

Boundary with the self

“I am feeling overwhelmed, and am beginning to feel that I am losing control. Taking a half hour walk will help to ground myself and process my thoughts and feelings. I will come back in half an hour, and start a new conversation with my partner about the situation.”

A time-out is an excellent way to remove oneself from the situation without dismissing the importance of the conversation. It is imperative to come back to the conversation after the defined length of time. Sometimes, it is helpful to create a safe word that both parties understand if the term time-out is a trigger.