Learning to Put Boundaries

Setting Boundaries for Myself

Learning to put boundaries on things that you over do in life can help you be more balanced in the long run. My issues typically deal with work, but your issue could be not knowing how to say NO and being nice to everyone. Think about boundaries you can set for yourself to help you feel more balanced.

To help my workaholic nature my therapist has told me to put boundaries on my work life. It seems so simple that I’m not sure why it’s taking me forever to figure it out. If you are a workaholic like myself keep reading on:

MAKE SURE TO HAVE ENERGY

It takes energy to accomplish things throughout the day. For some reason this is a basic concept that I forget. Once I’m on a computer, I typically forget to eat until I’m starving. I’m trying to change that by making sure I eat lunch on time and if I can remember to eat something for breakfast, even better.

I’m also learning to take more breaks while working in order to walk around and to make sure I get more sleep to help with my energy levels.

WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY (NOT TRUE REGARDING SLEEP)

I always thought that I can fight off sleep. It was easier to do in my college years. You can fight off sleep with caffeine for a period of time but once that wears off your body will want to go to sleep and will eventually win out. Why get poor sleep sleeping in your office? Stop working now and go to bed. Try to get eight to nine hours of sleep if you can. I’m still working on this. I tend to fall asleep in my office and wake up in the middle of the night and end up going to my room to sleep. That isn’t ideal. I will start putting work hours (another boundary) so I can sleep at a decent hour. My excuse of working late is that “I still prefer working late into the night since it’s nice and quiet. It’s when I can concentrate easily without the distractions of family life.” But this needs to change. I’ll try to be a morning person. I’ve said this for decades. Maybe I’ll make the change this year.

RESPECT YOUR BODY

Respect your body by listening to it and not ignoring it. Go to sleep when you feel tired, eat when you are hungry, etc.

During my weeks of being a workaholic, I wouldn’t pay attention to how little sleep I was getting and the food I was eating. It took me at least two weeks to feel like I was back to my normal self and that included sleeping in during the weekends. That needs to stop NOW! It will be easier to have a normal schedule and wake up in the morning and get my work done during that time. My mind will function better and I’ll feel better when I get more sleep and eat on time.

SAVING YOUR WEEKENDS FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

For the past week, I’ve been putting limits on how much I’m on the computer especially on the weekend. The weekend is reserved for family / friends time. The only time I really was on the computer on the weekend was to finish up a work contract, but once that was done any requests sent to me via email was reserved to tackle on for the following Monday.

Because this past weekend was beautiful in Colorado it was wonderful getting to ride bikes with the kids (which I rarely do) and getting outside. I even met my neighbor three houses down for the first time since they moved in last April. Yes I’m a bad neighbor in that I keep to myself and am mostly at home in my office.

I even got to hang out with my close friend and her family and it was fun to see my kids having a blast playing with her kids. We left in the evening and had to bike back home in the dark but it was an awesome feeling biking in 40 degree weather. Doing something together with my kids and getting exercise at the same time. As I was biking home in the cold, I was capturing a mental image of that evening. It was a great feeling for me. It’s those moments that make life LIFE and makes you want to cherish and make more memories like that in the future.

BOUNDARIES I’VE SET FOR MYSELF

  • Setup work hours during the week (even if I work at home). I need to start getting off my computer at 10pm instead of 1am. Let’s see if I can do this. Maybe start getting off the computer at midnight, then switch it back to 11pm and then 10pm.
  • Take breaks while working. I need to take a moment to walk around and drink a glass of water.
  • Eat three meals a day even if it’s a banana for breakfast.
  • Get eight hours of sleep per night so my mind will function better and be more efficient with work during my work hours.
  • Saving my weekends for family and friends because life is too short for only work and no play. I want to make more memories with my family and friends since that’s what life is about. I want to enjoy my life and have more of those awesome moments with family and friends.

If you are a workaholic or anything -aholic, what boundaries will you set for yourself so you can be more balanced in your life?

4 Comments
  1. Jess 2 years ago
    THIS IS SO ME!!! I'm constantly reminding myself to take a break, eat, and get enough sleep. Yay! I'm not the only one. I started writing out my daily tasks (I work from home) with timeframes to help me stay focused, and to banish the guilt of moving on without perfectly completing a task. This is my first week, and boy is it making a difference!
    • Author
      Jen 2 years ago
      I'm glad that you are writing out your daily tasks. I use an app to track all the hours and tasks that I'm working on. It shows that I'm constantly working at least a 12 hour day. I've reduced my hours and am putting more boundaries to protect my sleep and my health. Good luck! I'm glad writing our your daily tasks is making a difference for you!
      • Jess 2 years ago
        Thanks, Jen! Would you like to share the app you use? I'm debating whether or not I would benefit from an app or to continue the old-fashioned way (I'm in my early 30's crying out loud!). How are the reduced hours working for you?
        • Author
          Jen 2 years ago
          Hi Jess, I use an app called hours to track my time. It was free when I purchased it. Really you can use any app that is free that will track your time. Even using a notebook and tracking your time with a stopwatch will be helpful. It's good to find out where you spend all your time at. That way you can start changing your schedule when you realize where all your time is going. I definitely feel better working less hours but sometimes feel guilty that I'm not working as much as I used to. I'm giving myself time to get used to working less hours. It's an adjustment period for me right now but will keep working on trying to be as balanced as I can. :)

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