Blurred Lines - Creating Boundaries In Quarantine
Is it just me or have all the lines blurred together so that it’s hard to differentiate between work and home, family time, alone time, and mealtime ...
Is it just me or have all the lines blurred together so that it’s hard to differentiate between work and home, family time and alone time, and let’s not forget, mealtimes that roll into each other! Our roles are changing. Parents are homeschooling and working from home and trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy in their lives. You might have your teens or young adults all home. It can be challenging to create boundaries in these tight quarters. Here are 5 ways to create boundaries and develop a supportive new normal in our daily lives.
1. Create rituals around time - Try to keep your schedule as close to your regular routine as possible. Even if you are not working, start your day at the same time you normally would have. Follow your routine, or create even better routines that incorporate positive habits like a morning walk or a meditation. My meditation teacher, Emily Fletcher often said, “just tell the kids ‘mommy is training to be a ninja and needs a bit of time’”, when you’re meditating and need some space from the kids. For some reason it works every time!
2. Create rituals between roles - If you’re fortunate enough to have a home office, turn off the computer, turn out the lights, close the door and don’t turn back until tomorrow. If you’re like me and your ‘home office’ is a dining room table, the ritual might be turning off the laptop, tidying up, and taking 3 deep breaths to transition to the next role.
What fun ritual could you create between work and play with the kids … maybe tickle bombs as you leave your workspace, or read a book together before moving into your workspace.
If you have multiple devices, you can also create boundaries around things like social media or checking the latest Covid news. Designate certain devices for certain tasks. For example, use your laptop as opposed to your phone to check your social media, so you’re not tempted to check your phone before bed.
3. Create physical space - What I really mean here is between you and the refrigerator … or maybe that’s just my issue! It’s easy to wander over for a snack multiple times a day when you’re working from home. Plan for keeping healthy snacks available, and plan for what you will do when that temptation to wander hits. You could take a quick walk, drink a glass of lemon water, text a friend a happy greeting, take a few deep breaths or stretch, whatever your body needs to get through that moment.
4. What are you wearing? It really does help define what role you are in if you are dressed for that role. I cannot lie, my yoga pants have been my best friend lately. But I have noticed a difference when I dress for the role I’m in. The ritual of changing clothes creates boundaries between roles.
5. Be flexible - Accept that as diligent as you might be about this, the lines will occasionally still blur, and that’s okay. Allow for those spontaneous, silly moments with the kids during the day, or the occasional tantrum from your kids, partner, or yourself. We are only human after all. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, smile at your humanity, and give it another go.
If you could use some help taking those microactions you know will help you put your best foot forward and come out of these uncertain times stronger than ever, let’s talk. Book your complimentary 30 minute Clarity Session, where we will:
• Clarify your vision - so you know exactly what you want
• Identify some of the blind spots and challenges that are holding you back
• Explore how coaching can help you get from where you
are to where you want to be
Feel empowered and excited about moving forwards towards the future you truly deserve!
Wishing you and your families much health every day in every way!
Nancy Brooker, CPA CA
Certified Master Life Coach