Creating New Boundaries for Our Late Pandemic Reality

New Boundaries

Today’s big idea is that right about now, as we’re venturing back out in to the world and socializing with people more, we likely need to either think up new boundaries or adapt our existing ones to what feels right not only to ourselves as individuals but also to this very unique time in history. 

Because, truth is, we’re all a little rusty at a lot of things, including talking with folks and relating to people we perhaps haven’t seen in a while. So this is the perfect time to spiff up your boundaries.

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For example, as the mask mandates are lifted in the U.S., it’s a good time to ask yourself what situations, if any, you want to continue to wear a mask. I personally really enjoyed not getting sick at all over the last 15 months. And think that I’ll continue to wear a mask in the grocery store and in crowded indoor situations that have a lot of people from a lot of different households. It just feels right to me; and that’s my boundary. It doesn’t have to be yours. 

I went to my first barbecue recently where there were some people I hadn’t met before. I stuck my hand out to shake their hand and they reciprocated and as soon as our hands met, I thought, oh crap, am I doing this? I’m not saying you have to think through every situation, but a good question to ask yourself right about now is, how much physical contact do I want to have with people outside my pod? For example, are you ready for hugs again? I know a lot of people said that that was what they missed the most during the throes of lockdown. But now… do you still want them? 

Here’s some more things to consider when thinking about what hopefully-post-pandemic new boundaries you want to set. 

Maybe there are things you didn’t do during the pandemic, or people you didn’t see, and not having them in your life actually felt kinda great. Maybe you want to think of some parameters that will help you maintain your distance from these people or situations. 

Perhaps there’s something you started doing during the pandemic that have really served you well, and you’d like to set a boundary around that thing. For example, I started working out with weights at home during the pandemic and honestly, it’s been great for me. It’s meant that I’ve done some form of strength training two or even three times a week. When before the pandemic I was only doing it once a week at my appointment with my trainer. So I want definitely want to keep that going. So, at least for the summer, I’m setting a boundary that I’m not headed back to the gym so that I’ll continue working out from home. 

Or maybe there’s a boundary you need to draw because there are things you got slack on during the pandemic. Like, having dessert every night, or drinking every night, or spending way too much time on screens. Do you need to establish some new guidelines for yourself? 

Daily Tiny Assignment

Your tiny assignment is to ask yourself two questions that will help you set some new boundaries for our current reality: 

What do I want to keep as is? 

What do I want to change? 

Those answers will help you see if there are new boundaries you need to set. Having some guidelines in place during this time of transition will help the ground feel a little steadier under your feet. 

Just remember that as the world is in flux, your boundaries need to have some level of flexibility, too. In another month I may be just completely over wearing masks, for example. Or once I’m not home quite as much, maybe I’ll start blowing off my weights; and then it might make sense to get back to the trainer. 

I say think of these as boundaries for the next three-four months. By then we’ll be in a new season and perhaps a new reality. That gives you the consistency of something that you know is going to be in place for the foreseeable future, but it’s not so set in stone that you are afraid to commit because the world is changing even more than usual right now. 

That’s it for boundaries week! I hope you have a great weekend, and I hope you’ll come back next week, when 

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