In the aftermath of the pandemic, and the heavy mental load. It’s no wonder we feel scrambled. Our boundaries have disappeared in the way we work and live now – impacting both our personal space and safety. Technology has played a major role in blurring our boundaries. Let’s face it, we are on tech all the time….and for everything. We answer work emails, scroll our social media platforms, book our eye appointment through apps, and respond to texts. Any healthy separation between parts of our life start to become blurred and carving out some private space is essential.
Mark your space: during the pandemic, physical boundaries collapsed, even though times are shifting back – remote work is here to stay. When you’re physically located in the same place for work and home, you must actively do things to keep those boundaries separate. For us, it means creating a workspace that’s separate from the rest of our home, closing the door during our meetings, and leaving our phone behind to create that balance. If you don’t have an office, use a physical or verbal signal like headphones to let other family members know you need to focus or schedule calls when the kids are not around. Our favourite thing is to do a “fake commute” like a quick workout, walk, breakfast with the kids, or school drop off – it helps keep the worlds separate.
Build breathing room: if there are two of you working from home, it’s worth discussing what you each need in terms of private space. With the pandemic, we were forced to constantly coordinate and communicate with our partners – deciding in advance who was going to take care of household chores, kids, and more. That’s why its important now to renegotiate domestic tasks and establish new routines to preserve your time. Make rules like no cellphones at the dinner table or no work after 5pm.
Creating emotional boundaries: regarding what and how much we’re willing to share makes us feel valued and respected. But for partners who spend a ton of time together, preserving that ‘private’ time can be tricky. In our households, we continue to implement structured days with our partners – stick to work obligations and urgent home matters during the day, leave our household stuff and more intimate conversation after work. Regardless of how close you are, its ok to take some time to yourself. Just remember to communicate so your partner is aware, and you can avoid an misinterpretation or hurt feelings.
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