Setting Boundaries While Social Distancing
As many of us are currently social distancing, you are probably spending much more time at home and less time actually out interacting and socializing with others in person. But despite this, ironically, it can feel like people have much more access to you than they did before due to there being so many ways to contact you (i.e. texting, email, social media, virtual hangouts, etc). Even though you are spending more time at home, it is still okay to set boundaries around how you use your time and who you are interacting with. Below are some boundaries that might be helpful to set as you social distance if you are feeling overwhelmed with the many ways there are for people to contact you, as well as the many avenues for you to communicate and take in information:
It’s okay to say no.
One of the great things about technology is that even though we can’t get together with others in person right now, we can still meet with them through various virtual/electronic avenues, such as Zoom. But just like with in-person gatherings, you are allowed to set boundaries about how often and when you join your friends and family virtually and/or electronically. If you are not feeling up to socializing virtually or on a phone call, you can say no, or suggest another time to do it that works better for you. Because for many, spending so much time interacting with others online is out of the norm, it can feel exhausting to do this too often if you are not used to it, and that’s okay.
If working from home, try to set a routine for yourself.
If you are currently working from home (including on school work), there can be a pull to be working at all hours because you are literally a few steps away from your “office”. It can be harder to separate work from home when you are doing both in the same space, unlike you usually do. If possible, try to still work as close to the same hours you normally would if you were leaving and going to the office. In addition, set boundaries about checking your work email if possible. Try to not check emails after a certain time, just like you probably would do when not working from home.
Limit time spent on social media.
Social media is a great thing, but if not used in a healthy way, it can affect your mood and well-being. Especially in current times when we are constantly being flooded with information and opposing opinions, it can negatively impact us to spend too much time scrolling through our news feeds. Try to set certain times during the day to check your social media (same with watching the news on television if you find it overwhelming). If needed, turn off the notifications on your phone so you are not tempted to check it throughout the day. And finally, follow people on social media who uplift and inspire you, rather than those who may leave you feeling anxious or comparing your experience to theirs.