Happy Monday (or whenever you are reading this)! These past couple of weeks, I have been quarantining with my parents; and with that, comes a lot of change for me. Waking up to hearing a dog barking, sharing a TV with two other people, and coordinating schedules are all new things to me. For those who don’t know, I live in a small apartment alone, and am pretty used to making my own schedule, plans, meals, etc. Going from living alone to living with my parents for an extended period of time (with no true end date in sight) has definitely been an adjustment for me.
As many of us are sheltering in place with family, significant others, or friends, it can sometimes be suffocating to not feel like you have alone time. Now more than ever, there is an importance of setting boundaries with the people you are surrounded with, in order to keep your sanity during this crazy time.
I have to admit that sometimes, this is not a strong suit of mine; but I hope that some of the things that I have learned during this time can help people who are struggling with this as well. Here are some of my boundary setting tips- Enjoy!
- Say no. One of the hardest things to do with loved ones is to say no- but it can be one of the most important. Just because you are quarantining with someone does not mean that you have to spend 100% of your time with them, or do all of the same activities of them. Say no to some group activities, but make sure you do so respectfully. The key to saying no is be gracious for the opportunity, but to be clear that you need some time for yourself.
- Set specific times in your agenda for “you” time. I cannot stress enough how important it is to make an agenda during your time in quarantine. Equally as important is setting apart time for you to do something alone. Whether that be spending an hour watching your favorite tv show, doing a workout that you love, or even taking a nap, make sure that you are doing something each day specifically for you.
- Create your own space. With multiple people working from home or just living in the same space without leaving, it can be easy to step on each other’s toes. Try making your own “at home office”, or your own space to do your daily activities, that is different from the other people’s space, to allow for a sense of individuality.
- Make connections with your outside community. Like I have emphasized before, it is important to stay connected with your friends and different community members during this time. Feeling connected to people outside of your home unit will help you to feel more like yourself and provide an easy outlet for some stress you may be feeling.
- Share decision making and responsibility. Every person in your home unit should feel as though they have a say in decisions made for the group, such as what to cook for dinner, what to watch on TV, what games to play, and more. Make sure that everyone you’re with’s voices are heard and respected.
- Don’t shy away from tough conversations. If things aren’t going well with you and the people you are with, speak up! As I talked about in my post “Speak Your Needs”, communication is key in any type of relationship. If someone is bothering you, talk to them about it. They’re not going to know unless you tell them. Encourage those who you are with during this time to talk about what is going well and what isn’t.
When setting boundaries, be mindful of those around you. Use a careful tone when trying to set boundaries with others; this shouldn’t be something that is negative for anyone you are with.Boundary setting is a give and take. Make sure you are doing as much for your loved ones to respect their boundaries as you would hope that they are doing for you, and everyone can come out of this closer to the best version of themselves.