While you quarantine, experiences like a family member asking where is the disinfectant or their constant visits while you work or just the buzz of a text seem overwhelming? Well, you’re in deep need of personal space, my friend.
Social distancing hasn’t just redefined the way we view space between people in public, it has also shifted our relationship with personal space. Although isolation makes it crave the company of our loved ones more, our innate need for personal space doesn’t go away.
Why do we need personal space? A study by the American Sociological Association found that personal space helps us recenter ourselves, feel more focussed, and protects us from experiencing potential aggression.
Here are 5 ways you can feed your need for personal space during quarantine:
1. Establishing a separate workspace
Space is a powerful force that impacts people’s behaviour. Can you imagine your mother visiting your office to ask you what you want to eat? Well, thanks to the pandemic, a lot of us have got to experience it since we began to work at home.
A study by the University of Kelaniya explored the relationship between the invasion of personal space and stress. The research stated, “Spatial invasion is the reason for producing stress and has an impact on human behavior.”
To curb the stress that blurring lines between work and home might bring, set up an office space. This way, when you’re sitting on your desk, your family shall know you must not be disturbed unless it’s important. This shall also curb the possibility of your family member lurking in the background of your work video call.
2. Using texts to communicate at home
Sounds bizarre, right? When you can communicate in person then why text? Well, according to research, sometimes in-person communication brings along sensory overload. In the moments when you deeply seek personal space, sensory overload through in-person interaction sounds disastrous. It increases the possibility of aggression and conflict.
To curb the possibility of conflict, tap away! Using texts shall be extremely helpful when you need space yet still communicate the essential message that needs to be shared. After all, sharing a space does require the balancing act of communication and the experience of personal space.
3. Exercise at the ‘right’ time
Exercise is one of the greatest acts of self-care that helps you zone out and focus on just creating a mind-body connection. Although, the calming experience of connecting with your physical self might turn sour if you have a family member asking you random questions or just parading around you.
While lockdown has stripped us of the privilege to workout in the gym, we can still create our personal gym. No, we aren’t talking about getting dumbbells and resistance bands. Just find the time where everyone seems to tune out into their personal space. It may be early in the morning or during an afternoon nap time. The simple act of working out at a quiet time shall do the trick, ladies!
4. Meditate to get into your bubble
What about the times you can’t have physical space to yourself? Well, even though having a separate physical space sounds normal but it might not always be possible.
During lockdown, the restriction of our movement might put us into situations where we need to share spaces with people. For times like these, just the simple act of closing our eyes and focussing on our breath can give us a mental personal space. A study by the University of British Columbia suggests that meditation shall help us relax, help focus on the present moment and get in tune with our mental as well as emotional state. Lord knows we all need that!
5. ‘Turn off’ from the world whenever we can
While working from home has made us more dependent on technology, it can also empty out our energy batteries. Maintaining a smooth channel of communication to stay connected with our work team can make us feel disconnected with ourselves sometimes.
To replenish our batteries and re-fuel our connection with ourselves, we must remember to simply turn it off on the weekends or after work. It sounds easy but how often do we actually do it? Doing this simple act can help us create a virtual personal space between our professional and personal life. So mute the group notifications, put your phone on airplane mode, or just switch your phone off to mentally train your mind to switch off from your hustle.
In the moments where being around people feels overwhelming, use these tips and press time-out, ladies!