Why you need to reset your boundaries now
We’re coming out of winter, and in a very real way, coming out of hibernation. Even though we’re still mostly stuck in our homes, a year into the pandemic, it is definitely time to stop hibernating and wake up in this new world.
As we all became trapped inside our walls, dimensions of life collapsed in on one another and our homes became our offices, our schools, our restaurants, our playgrounds and our doctor’s offices, we are starved for connection and a sense of community.
It’s no secret that people, women especially, have suffered under the deluge of multitasking demands during the pandemic. Attend all your work meetings, but also make sure the kids are paying attention in virtual school. Do all your work, but also the groceries need sanitizing.
But now we’re a year in, we’ve gone through our first real winter with COVID. As we move into a new spring, it’s time to come out of the hibernation we put ourselves into, and reacquaint ourselves with the new, pandemic-evolved version of...ourselves.
This new form of ever-present pressure nibbles at the edges of the psyche like mice. A year into this, and it’s hard to remember who you were before the pandemic, when all your yous could spread out and get some space from each other. You could think clearly because you had Work You, Parent You, Partner You, Friends You in different places at different times.
Now they’re all shouting at you at once all the time. You have no idea who you are anymore.
"Generosity cannot exist without setting boundaries. Brene Brown
Looking back at who I was before this time, it’s clear I needed and created boundaries between my mes. I had rituals to start my day. Meditate, make a smoothie, shower, open a book. School drop-off separated Mom Me from Work Me in back-to-back meetings with the occasional scurry for a cup of coffee. Yogi Me ended the day at the yoga studio between office and home for a sweaty, meditative reset to Mom Me.
Now my daily rituals are now so random as to no longer be rituals. Will I do some yoga? Write? Sleep in? Go for a sunrise walk? Meditate, or just dive into work? There is a sameness to my days...my ‘commute’ is 3 steps between my bed and my office. The rest of the house is for my kids. My impromptu ‘colleague’ chats are now with my kids. In place of their expected college experience, I’m their tutor, assignment interpreter, counsellor, registrar, coach, bus driver...all interspersed between Zoom meetings, Instacart orders, and searching for a clean mask. While adult life has always meant pressure, this is different.
I am so very aware that my pandemic experience is hugely fortunate compared to so many others. I don’t have school-age (or, eek, younger) children. Mine are first-year college students. I do not have to fill in as teacher and playmate while juggling all my other responsibilities. I have had loss as a consequence of the pandemic but not at the same rate or as tragically as others. I have maintained my livelihood, while so many are barely holding on. And yet, even I feel the pressure, the tension, the fear, the frustration and the blurring of the lines. It is so challenging to even know who you’ll have to be one moment to next let alone carve out more than a few scarce moments for yourself. It undermines our steadiness.
But you’re still you
However you feel right now, the real you is in there, and believe it or not -- you are better and stronger than ever. You’ve learned and evolved over the last year in ways you haven’t even yet realized. You need a chance to rediscover yourself by re-setting boundaries, take some space for yourself, and push back out into the sunlight.
Wanting to find space for yourself isn’t wrong, and isn’t selfish. It’s a necessary kindness, for you and everyone in your life. You can’t be at your best, especially in uncertain times, with no boundaries, spread so thin you’re nearly translucent.
". . . with no boundaries, spread so thin you’re nearly translucent."
It’s past time to reconnect to yourself. Claim space. Find your boundaries. Take time to get to know yourself again, and see what new strengths and talents you’ve cultivated over the last year without even realizing it. Feel out your own boundaries again, and you will be able to see the remarkable potential you embody.
Start now, and grow with us
Start right now by committing to The Soul’s Renewal Retreat. If this sounds like we’re just adding another demand on top of all your other demands, here is what you’re giving yourself by participating in the retreat:
3 half-days of no judgement, only support
A break from strategic thinking and planning
A soft reboot of creativity and introspective thinking
Access to renowned facilitators and coaches, for one-on-one support
Rediscovering your old best self
Discovering a whole new best self
Whether you want to discuss a whole new life chapter or path, or you just want to give in to the introspection of journaling, art, and meditation, The Soul’s Renewal Retreat is about setting compassionate boundaries in a new world. Each journey inward will change you, as journeys do. But each time you re-emerge into the growing spring sunlight, you will be clear-eyed, clear-headed, and stronger to face the brightening world.