Y’all, I cannot stress enough what it means to set boundaries and how important it is-in all aspects of your life.
Especially with work from home being the norm for almost all jobs, it is really important to keep the work-life balance and know when to cut work off. Plus, most millennials have side-hustles. When you have a side-hustle, second, or third job, it can be tough to set boundaries for everything. It’s definitely something I’ve struggled with in the past (and still do).
Setting boundaries help you become more productive and stay true to yourself. For instance, I don’t like being touched. I’ve been pretty clear with my family and they know my boundary and wait for me to hug them. This could also be boundaries in a romantic relationship. It’s important to have conversations with you are okay with and not okay with. What if you want to help pay for dates? Make sure your partner knows this is an expectation or boundary for you that you want to help financially.
If you don’t set boundaries, when someone breaks a “non-negotiable” for you, it hurts. However, when you haven’t formally set the boundary, you can only be so upset. It’s not fair to the other person when you haven’t communicated with them what is okay and what isn’t. This is stressful for you and other people! As humans, we thrive off knowing what to expect.
It’s also incredibly draining on you. As an elementary teacher, the spring was tough because it felt like we were on call 24/7. If a family member contacted us, we were expected to answer as quickly as possible, regardless of the hour. Luckily for me, my families were pretty understanding, and my kids knew how to find their work. However, I know some of my co-workers weren’t as lucky and I’ve heard horror stories from other schools.
Tips for Setting Boundaries
- Set hard limits | This means setting a time where you don’t look at “work stuff” anymore. As a teacher, I 100% know how difficult this is because after school is when parents can typically respond to me. Know what you are okay with and what you aren’t in all aspects of your life.
- Say what you need + be clear | This one is definitely a tip I struggle with. Everything is not necessarily okay, and you might need help. Be clear and say when you need help. It’s not a sign of weakness and if your leader thinks it is, they need to re-think their leadership. At the beginning of every year, I always tell my families when they can expect a response. If I’m doing something else and I happen to respond it’s like a bonus. However, I always have the policy to fall back on.
- Be consistent | Make sure you stick with them for an extended period of time and make sure they’re the same for everyone.
- Make it a conversation | Talk with the people who your boundaries will concern. Make them aware of why you have these boundaries. When someone knows the why they are more likely to respect them.
- Help yourself + ask for help | This one will look different for everyone. This could mean, setting a timer and only allowing yourself to answer emails for 30 minutes. It could mean having someone take your phone so you don’t use it for a period of time. There are apps to help keep you focused. I definitely used them in college! I also had my roommate change my password to Facebook before finals our first semester of college. She knew what it was and texted it to me after my last final.
- Make them realistic | We all know we aren’t staying off social media for 9+ hours a day. Instead of that, say I will only use social media during my lunch break and after work. This way, you’re setting the boundary, but it’s more realistic. One influencer, Tori DeSimone, shared that she only has Instagram on her phone when she goes to her spin studio. That sets an incredibly intense but beneficial boundary for her.
What is one boundary you’re working on? Mine is only answering my phone at certain times!