Got Re-entry Stress?

boundaries
Here in the United States we are fortunate to be on the tail of this pandemic, in that any of us who want to be vaccinated can be, and this offers (at least for me and my people) a sense of freedom and relief we haven’t felt in some time. I am wishing for this so hard for everyone around the world.
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I’ve already shared with you that coupled with this impending freedom, I’m also hearing a lot of impending doom. It’s ironic, you’d think after over a year of lock downs, fear, and loss, all people would be only feeling one way: EXCITED. But nothing and no one is all one thing, so mixed emotions are normal. Especially when we are still figuring out our new life blend and how to navigate relationships, return to socializing, working in community, big crowds, etc. For some of you this is simple and easy, for others not so much.
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My single most important tip: Defend your boundaries. You know you have them, the edges of your comfort zone with your privacy, in relationships, with time, and on. I have found over time that the two hardest things about boundaries are first owning them and then upholding them. I’m a firm believer that our boundaries will save our lives, and if there were ever a time to practice them, it’s now. So:
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Step 1: Name your boundaries. Identify what is going to work for you and your family as you reengage with the world. Get clear with yourself on what’s going to work for you. Enroll your family members or nearest dearest in the conversation — it helps to talk it out, build buy-in among your people, which in turn better supports upholding said boundaries.
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Step 2: Articulate them. Just start telling everyone. Be as proactive as you can. Make a list of key people in your life and spread the word. Tell your in-laws, your siblings, co-workers how you plan to navigate re-entry. You’ll have to repeat yourself over time and that’s ok — you can. And anyway, practice makes limit setting perfection(I kid! You know that in this house, we don’t believe in perfection! 😜)
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Step 3: Defend them ruthlessly. No one will protect your limits but you, believe it. Mostly people like to blow through them. I’ve already had to tell relative strangers to me, “Hi (mom’s friend I’ve never met before), nice to meet you – I’m not ready to hug, please don’t take it personally. It’s just that I’m not ready. Thanks for understanding.” It’s ok if they don’t and it’s ok if they think you’re weird. We’re all weird to varying degrees. Keep it kind, keep it clear.

If you’ve got some stress, anxiety, or a sense of doom about the world opening up, I’m betting some boundary setting would help quite a lot. It 100% wont hurt. Try it and please let me know how it goes for you.
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