Six Ways to Build Boundaries

With the time a lot of us are spending at home, the lines between work & relaxation can blur. It can prove challenging to invest in others, in person or virtually, & still ourselves at the end of the day.

This doesn’t exactly make for an easy pursuit of one of my key values, and maybe one of yours? Balance.

I feel like asking for balance, or pushing for balance, is silly sometimes. Like someone’s going to call me out and tell me to give up; that it’s impossible.

I get it. Sometimes that might be true.  We can’t be winning in every area at once, but we certainly deserve to pursue the mental, emotional and physical health needed to feel and do our best for the current priorities in our lives.

How do we set out for this? Boundaries.

Let’s talk boundaries. Do you want them? Do you have them? Are you communicating them to others?

For me, boundaries look like:

  • Trying to sign off at a set time from work every day of the week
  • Not logging on or checking emails until I’ve worked out and showered (most days at least…your girl is not a morning person)
  • Carving out time for just E & I after a crazy day to just talk (no screens, often outside)
  • Stepping away from my computer to connect if family is calling – we’ve had some pretty intense health stuff the past couple years and personal priorities are always greater business

ways to build boundaries

What is one example you’d have for yourself?

Maintaining balance is already no easy task, and this year, I’ve realized it’s been even tricker to figure out. Maybe at some point you’ve felt this way too.

In between talking to friends, mentors, and reading different articles, I’ve been reminded of a handful of ways we can build boundaries  to support the pursuit of balance – whether it be in our personal and professional lives.

  • Don’t give up, it will take patience & support. // Sometimes meeting our boundaries is easier, and even more rewarding, than other times. We can’t be so hard on ourselves when we push for the space and rest we need, but it doesn’t happen as we hoped. There will be circumstances out of our control some days. In these instances, let’s do what we can, show ourselves grace, and show up the next day with optimism.
  • If history is repeating itself, push for change. // Building upon the above, if circumstances are consistently draining or showing up as a reoccurring road block – ask for help. YOU are your biggest advocate. Flag what needs to change, and be clear on when and what the ideal state to set you up for physical, mental and spiritual success looks like.
  • Over-communicate boundaries to help set expectations. // People don’t know what they don’t know. We need to make sure the boundaries we set to be our best selves are made known to those around us. If they forget, remind them. It’s a balance of grace, yet holding people accountable, and most of all, allowing them to be in our corner to cheer us on.
  • Start your day with an important act of self-care. // If you make the bed, do a daily devotional, get in a sweat, call your mom, guess what? You’re already a WINNER. If other errands or tasks don’t get done, you still got to check an item off your list where you showed up for YOU.
  • Identify an accountability partner to keep you honest. // We were designed for community and connection. Task your partner, BFF, sister, teammate – whoever you trust – to text or ask you on a regular cadence if you’re showing up for yourself. If yes, celebrate – and if not, let it be a safe space to brainstorm how to make it right.
  • It’s okay to say no. // Anyone else suffer from people-pleaser syndrome? I’m a hard worker. I want to deliver. I showing up as someone people can rely on 110%, but what if that comes at the cost of delivering for myself? Let this be the permission needed to kindly push back. If you can’t take on something right now, figure out how tasks may need to be reprioritized or allow yourself the chance to revisit it later.

Your turn. How do you show up to advocate for the space and rest you need day-to-day? Share your tips, tricks & words of encouragement below.

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