7 Tips for Setting Healthy Boundaries in Work and Life

Feeling overwhelmed?

It is normal to find yourself feeling overbooked, overworked, or just plain overwhelmed. During this time, the demands of your personal and professional life may be growing and changing. These challenges can be an opportunity to learn and move forward positively. If, instead, you are feeling exhausted most of the time, it might be a sign that you need to reassess your boundaries. That burnout may come from agreeing, giving, doing, and accepting tasks or roles that don’t serve you.

Here are seven tips to help you set healthy boundaries and build resilience.

  1. Start your day with limit-setting intentions. Recognize, from the moment you start, what you are capable of taking on.
  2. Acknowledge what you gain by setting boundaries. This allows you to re-center and remain committed, even when things get tough.
    • What could healthy boundaries with co-workers or with your family allow space for you to do?
  3. Define your priorities. Get clear on what you need, what you want, and what would be nice to have.
    • What are the three most important things for you to do today?
  4. Communicate directly, clearly, and often. Telling people about your boundaries is necessary for change. If you don’t share your limits with the people they impact, everyone involved may end up feeling frustrated.
  5. Pay attention to your needs. Feelings of discomfort, overwhelm, or resentment is often indicators that we’ve allowed a boundary to be crossed.
    • When you feel this way, get curious, and ask yourself, “What is this feeling telling me? What do I need right now?”
  6. Start small. Usually, when we try to make massive overhauls, we end up right back in our old habits. Instead, start by making feasible adjustments. When you commit to and follow through with small changes in your boundaries, it builds your confidence to make harder decisions in the future.
  7. Practice self-compassion. No one does this perfectly, and it’s okay for your boundaries to shift. If you are unable to follow through with the boundaries you set, treat yourself with kindness.
    • Ask yourself, “What do I have control over? What is the next best step I can take?”
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What would strong boundaries make possible for you?

What small step do you feel ready to take in building healthier boundaries?

Setting boundaries can be very personal, but you don’t have to do it alone. Consider enlisting a friend or family member to hold you accountable. A well-being coach is also a valuable resource to utilize in determining what your boundaries could be and creating accountability.

Learn more about Aduro’s Integrated Mental Health Solution to gain a holistic approach to supporting the mental health of your employees.