By Daniela Dominguez

Collectively, we are going through quite the unique experience recently. Nobody could have been prepared for how 2020 would turn our lives upside down. And in such an unparalleled scenario, with the whole world undergoing a pandemic, in this era of social media, fast-moving information, and advanced technology, the need for a higher sense of control and safety rises.

We are not only facing unpredictable times, but are also being bombarded with, an overwhelming at times, amount of global information, usually focused on tragedy, violence, and injustice. These factors not only create high levels of stress and worry but, combined with the uncertainty of the time, put us in a place of extreme vulnerability.

The problem is we all are experiencing almost the same, affecting us emotionally and physically. We feel exhausted and drained. And the need for some disconnection and more personal space arises, not only in us but on those around, creating dynamics that can become problematic. After all, we live in times where connection and communication are instantaneous and constant.

Boundaries Can Protect Us And Our Relationships 

Boundaries are a necessary component of self-care. Not only now, but in all the relationships we have. We can think of them as the limits we create to protect ourselves. They allow us to feel safe and to relax when dealing with people, different situations, and relationships. The creation of boundaries for space can help us deal more effectively with the stressful current reality providing us with a healthier environment and more inner peace.

Be Careful Of Unhealthy Boundaries 

Boundaries can take on many different forms: emotional, physical, mental, and in this social media era, even digital.

We need to be careful not to create unhealthy boundaries and also to respect others’ limits. This line seems almost unperceivable at times, but given the current situation, we are all in survival mode, which could create harmful extremes. 

But, I’m going through a tough time. I need what I need. Here is where communication and compromising come to play. Let’s not forget the singularity of the situation and how we all are in a more sensitive state that calls for self-preservation. 

Boundaries And Loved Ones

We’re spending most of our time at home. We are in a known, comfortable environment with those we may be closest to and know best, but still, things start to get tense. The need for personal space presents itself, and maybe the other person is not feeling it and can take it personally. Perhaps we are the ones that need more closeness, and our partners need space. 

Where is the balance? We need to contemplate what boundaries are negotiable and non-negotiable, then communicate them and listen to and respect the boundaries those around us have set for themselves during these difficult times. 

If you don’t agree with something, say it, but also try to understand others from a more personal perspective. Don’t forget we are all sharing a similar experience!

Social Interactions

We are still interacting with others outside our homes. And many of us are back to our 9 to 5’s. It might be the case we have a friend who requires a lot of attention and makes us feel drained. Or people we know might want to visit us, making us uncomfortable. Or a co-worker that carries a vibe or outlook that puts us down or stresses us.

We enter a conflict. We understand why our close ones need more contact or reassurance or why they are feeling the way they do. Still, at the same time, we also need to preserve our space and sanity, making us feel guilty and selfish. But remember that self-love is necessary, especially now.

Social Media And News Fatigue

For many of us, even before the pandemic, we had not very healthy relationships with technology. Indeed it was somewhat toxic and gaslighting at times.

It is okay to stay away from social media, constant messaging, watching and reading all the news. The amount of information we have access to is overwhelming, and we should rest from it from time to time.

It is imperative to think about our wellbeing as a priority. Mundane things we could bear before can feel impossible now. We should not take the need for space and disconnection lightly. We may need more personal space and time alone, less time on social media, less interaction with certain people, including those in your close circle. That’s okay. We don’t have to apologise for taking care and making ourselves a priority. 

Never forget that self-care does not mean you don’t care for others. If anything, it means we’re taking the time to be in a better place, which will translate into healthier, happier relationships and interactions.