October 14, 2022

How to Set Boundaries at Work

When we read self-help books, inspirational social media posts, or read about self-care activities, one phrase is always present: ‘work-life balance’. We are told how important it is for our mental health. We are told that without it we will develop anxiety or fall behind on taking care of ourselves. Sometimes it feels like a heavy burden to have to find the perfect ‘work-life balance’. There is pressure to do it all, and do it well.

‘Work-life balance’ does not mean the same thing for any two people. We can’t even hold ourselves to the same exact balance everyday because different parts of our lives need more attention at different times. 

One way to keep up with your ‘balance’ is to create boundaries at work. No matter where you work or how you work, boundaries can help improve your experience in and out of the workplace. These boundaries can come in various forms; conversations with your manager, physical space, separation rituals, and many more. Below is a list of how-to’s for boundary-setting at work:

  1. Identify what you need from yourself to have a manageable workload.
  2. Identify what you need from your boss to have a manageable workload.
  3. Ask yourself: what is the role of work in your life? In your identity?
  4. Find a song or video to play when you are done with work. Play this song at the end of every work day. This will create a connection between the song and work ending.
  5. Create open lines of communication with your colleagues. This will help you express your needs if you are feeling overwhelmed. 

Boundaries take work because they require reinforcement. Build the habit, continue to stick by your boundaries, and you will see an improvement in your ‘work-life balance’.

Photo Credit: Canva

Written by Jessy Pucker, LMSW



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