When returning to face-to-face interactions after the year we have all faced, it can be difficult to overcome feelings of discomfort, awkwardness, and anxiousness. Our second tip in easing this discomfort of returning to a somewhat normal routine is to acknowledge that your boundaries and limits in relationships may have shifted in the past year, and that the same may have happened for the people you love and interact with the most. 

Maybe your energy around social interactions has shifted in that you are more extroverted, or desire to interact with others has increased.  Or, maybe you have found that you need less social interactions in order to feel at peace and content.  Maybe you aren’t sure how you feel and you need more time to adjust before you jump right back into a “normal” routine of in-person interactions.

Wherever you may be in the journey of returning to a normal routine, it’s okay to honor your feelings about that process and to give yourself permission to move at your own pace. Setting boundaries with loved ones can help you ease into social interactions in a way that feels right to you.  Honoring the boundaries that others set is equally as important in resuming a normal and healthy social life after over one year of isolation and social distancing.

Check out this HRI post on setting boundaries in relationships as a guide to help you re-evaluate and set boundaries that feel right to you.

It’s okay if your boundaries and comfort level changes with time. Reflecting on your needs and comfort levels in relationships can help ensure that you return to normal in a way that works for you and your family.