In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of overworking and burning out. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It can lead to decreased productivity, lack of motivation, and even physical health problems. Does this resonate with you?
The good new is that burnout can be prevented by setting and maintaining strong boundaries. In this blog I am going to share five steps you can take now, to better deal with stress, minimise overwhelm and to banish burnout with boundaries.
- Know your limits. The first step to setting boundaries is to know your limits. Understand what you can handle and what you can’t. Be honest with yourself about your workload, your schedule, and your capacity to handle stress. Knowing your limits will help you identify when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and need to set boundaries.
- Set clear boundaries. Setting boundaries means defining what you will and won’t tolerate. This includes setting limits on your work hours, the number of tasks you take on, and the type of work you do. Be clear with your colleagues and clients about your boundaries. Let them know when you’re available, what you’re willing to do, and what you’re not willing to do. It’s essential to communicate your boundaries clearly and consistently.
- Learn to say no. One of the most effective ways to set boundaries is to learn to say no. Saying no can be challenging, especially if you’re a people-pleaser. However, it’s essential to say no when you can’t take on more work or when a task is outside of your expertise. Saying no will help you manage your workload and prevent burnout.
- Take breaks Taking breaks is crucial for preventing burnout. Make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day, including lunch breaks, and disconnect from work during your time off. Taking breaks will help you recharge your batteries and improve your productivity and focus when you return to work.
- Practice self-care Self-care is an essential aspect of setting boundaries. It means taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and practicing stress-relieving activities like meditation or yoga. Prioritizing self-care will help you manage stress and prevent burnout.
I want you to know that burnout is a serious issue that can have significant impacts on your health and well-being. we know that setting boundaries is an effective way to prevent burnout and to manage stress. By knowing your limits, setting clear boundaries, learning to say no, taking breaks, and practicing self-care, you can banish burnout and improve your quality of life. Remember that setting boundaries is a continuous process, and it’s okay to adjust your boundaries as your needs change.
If you need help to get started try this exercise –
Visualising Your Boundaries
So now we know that boundaries are simply the limits we set for ourselves in our relationships with others. But boundaries can be like the feather in this image – floating, moving, responding to the environment it finds itself in. So right now you can help yourself to better manage stress, to ,minimise overwhelm and to banish burnout by doing this short but powerful exercise to visualise the boundaries that you need to either put in place or to strengthen at this time in your life. Begin by getting a few sheets of paper and a pen for this exercise.
Take a little time to reflect. Answering the following questions will help you to visualize what boundaries ar eimportant for you right now.
- What is causing me stress or discomfort right now?
- What brings me joy, do I look forward to each day?
- What do I dread each day – who or what in particular can I say I wish I did no thave to face?
- Who or what gives me energy, makes me feel fully alive ?
- Who or what drains me/ sucks the life out of me, leaves me feeling flat?
- Who or what makes me feel safe, heard and nurtured?
- Who or what makes me feel unsafe, not listened to and depleted?
Then begin to clarify what is nourishing for your mind , body and spirit. To do this draw a large circle on the paper you have prepared and inside this circle write down everything that makes you feel safe, stress free and valued. Be as specific as you can. Below are some examples but the invitation is to really get in touch with yoir own specific answers.
- Hugs from your beloved
- Time spent in nature
- Support from family, co workers and friends
- Being appreciated in work
- Your fur baby
- Rituals and routines
- Having time to follow your interests and hobbies.
When you have written all that is nourishing for you inside the circle I then invite you to begin working on the outside of the circle. Write down outside of the circle anything or anyone that makes you feel stressed, unsafe, not listened to or depleted You might find yourself writing about people or situations that press your buttons, that you know are contributing to your stress , overwhelm and concern about burnout. Be as specific as you can using the examples below to help but be mindful of focusing on ad writing down outside the circle whatever comes to mind as specific in your life right now.
- Your friend asking to borrow money
- Colleagues gossiping at work
- Working late which interferes with your own plans for your free time
- Concern about what other people think of you a
- Your partner not being supportive of your needs and plans
- Your mother criticising your childcare practises
- Your family member only getting in touch when they want something from you
You might find this short meditation on setting boundaries helpful: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Xzl7DrOoXuebwcKTfyPrr9UkFxUWuoHK/view?usp=sharing
The Outline Of My Being Danielle Laporte
shines brighter than
agreements I made before now
but thank you for the
that bound me
for now I know
my endless expanse
my fences are
not so much about you not being
(although you’re not)
It’s that this is now
and it is me
and I am in space
and that covers it all.
If you would like a consult with me to get a little more help as you do this important work for future you you can book some time with me here: https://mindfulwithdee.kartra.com/calendar/consult
You might like to read this other recent blog about how to Manage Stress as an Over Busy 21st Century Human Being: https://mindfulfacilitation.com/how-to-manage-stress-as-an-over-busy-21st-century-human-being/
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