Learn how to set your personal COVID-19 boundaries. And how to make plans while respecting others’ boundaries at the same time.
Setting boundaries in different areas of our lives is important and helps keep us safe. Add in a pandemic and you need to establish another set of boundaries. Here are some steps to follow when establishing and enforcing COVID-19 boundaries:
- Determine your boundaries – You have to know where you stand so you can communicate your needs to others. Are you in an at-risk category and staying home is safer? Do you feel less anxious in your own home? Or is the need to connect with others critical to your mental well-being?
- Listen to the request – If someone calls you with a plan to get together, listen to them entirely and hear the details BEFORE you decide.
- Ask for specifics – To properly determine if you should accept the request, ask any questions you have. Will we be inside or outside? How many people will be there?
- Be Upfront – Give some background on your recent habits so others better understand the potential risk. Have you been around someone who has recently tested positive? Are you awaiting your test results? Have you already had it and now have antibodies?
- It’s ok to say no – If you aren’t comfortable getting together, politely decline. And let them know you miss them and would love to get together when you are able to do it more safely.
- Don’t judge – Now is not the time to judge people especially those you care about. Everyone has their own ideas and beliefs about today’s world, and none are more right (or wrong) than another’s.
- And if they pushback, don’t be surprised – Again, everyone has their own opinions and beliefs about what is best right now. Stick to your own boundaries and do what is right for you.
- Then revisit your boundaries periodically – The pandemic is a dynamic situation. And what was reasonable two or three months ago based on things at that time, may be different now.
Have you experienced a situation where you felt like your boundaries weren’t respected?
On top of establishing boundaries, also remember these tips when returning to work or the office.