Five Boundaries You NEED to Set

Let’s talk about boundaries. Boundaries are some of the hardest things to set and keep, but everyone needs boundaries to maintain a happy, healthy life. 

In fact, Web MD states that creating (and keeping) healthy boundaries can:

  • Increase your self-esteem
  • Boost your independence
  • Bring focus to yourself and your well-being
  • Enhance your emotional health
  • Help you avoid burnout
  • and more!

But which boundaries do we need? And how can we communicate that boundary to others?

I’m glad you asked!

First off, we need to split our boundaries into two categories: Personal and Professional. 

Personal Boundaries are the ones we set with family, friends, neighbors, and ourselves. 

Professional Boundaries are the ones we set with bosses, coworkers, peers, and other professional contacts. 

We use this distinction to note who’s around us and present our boundaries in an acceptable manner. 

Now, on to the heart of the matter. There are five boundaries you NEED to set today so you can start taking control of your life. They are:

  • Time 
  • Money
  • Physical/Sexual
  • Material
  • Emotional/Mental


Your time is precious, and you aren’t obligated to spend every waking moment catering to someone else. However, time boundaries are often the hardest to set, but you need them to stay sane.

Practice saying, “Sorry, I can’t do that right now. I’m busy.”

It’s a simple, clear phrase that needs no explanation and can do wonders in setting time boundaries with personal contacts. 

For work, try to stay as close to your allotted time as possible, then leave it at the door. Use the phrase above if someone contacts you outside of working hours. After a while, they’ll learn not to contact you unless it’s an emergency. 

Also, you don’t have to change everything at once. If you lead a busy life, start small- like turning off the phone at lunch and having a few moments to yourself. Then, you can increase your time until you find a balance that works. 

Once you establish time boundaries that work, you’ll be amazed at how liberating it is. Use it to work on a hobby, watch a show, work out, read a book, go out, or do whatever you need to reconnect with yourself, recharge, and relax! 


Money boundaries are more complicated, but you need them to create and maintain financial stability. 

The best monetary boundary is a budget. By creating a budget, you’re giving your money purpose and keeping track of where it goes. Then, if something comes up, you can look at your budget and say, “sure, let’s get lunch,” or “Sorry, it’s not in the budget today.”

A budget is as much a boundary for you as it is for others, and the closer you stick to it, the more others will respect your decision. However, if you’ve never had a budget before, it can be a steep learning curve and may take months (or years, in my case) to take effect. On the other hand, it’s a great lesson in discipline and self-control, and you’ll feel proud of yourself when you see green at the end of the month. 

Other money-related boundaries can include refusing to loan out money, no longer buying lunch/coffee/dinner for everyone at the table, and saving X amount every month for emergencies.  


If you ever feel awkward about setting a physical or sexual boundary, remember that you don’t owe your body to anyone. If you don’t like hugs, tell them. If you don’t want pokes or tickles, tell them. 

It doesn’t matter who it is- your boss, coworker, friend, grandparent, or even your child. If someone asks for (or initiates) physical contact that you’re uncomfortable with, you can tell them NO. 

The same goes for sexual partners. Be clear about what you like and don’t like. If they try to push past your boundary, you are within your right to withdraw consent and ask them to leave. 

No shame, no guilt, and no explanation needed (unless you want to)- it’s your body, your choice.


Material boundaries may be the easiest to implement because it deals with our possessions. If you don’t want people handling, using, or taking something, tell them! 

For example, tell them not to wear grandma’s necklace, stop bouncing on the couch, don’t harass the dog, and don’t touch the expensive tea set from Italy. 

It also applies to larger possessions, like borrowing the car, going to the house when you’re not home, using your computer or gaming system, etc. 

Whatever you own, you control, so set those boundaries for a little more peace of mind!

Emotional/ Mental

Finally, we need emotional and mental boundaries because, with the state of the world today, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with negativity. 

For group settings, like the holidays, leaving the room is the easiest way to avoid unwanted conversations. However, if it’s a one-on-one setting, there’s nothing wrong with saying, “Sorry, but I’m not comfortable discussing that at the moment,” and changing the subject to something more enjoyable. 

Additionally, if you’re the type of person people naturally turn to for advice or comfort, it’s okay to tell them that you don’t have the energy for it. If they push back or try to belittle or invalidate your feelings, remove yourself from the situation. 

Your emotions and mental health matter, and boundaries are essential for keeping them intact! Don’t be afraid to use them. 

Boundaries are essential for a happy, healthy life. However, they can be difficult to establish. Remember to be clear, firm, and precise when presenting them to others. Then, follow through!

Eventually, others will get the hint, and you’ll have more freedom to create the life you’ve always wanted. 

Do you have any boundaries in place? How did you set them? Let us know in the comments!

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