Work-life balance sounds easy, in theory. With constant access to technology and remote work, the pressure for productivity during a pandemic has increased. It can be difficult to identify that sweet center between work and play, even more so if you are working remotely. The line between the two blurs. Emails come in around the clock, co-workers and leaders can easily text you outside of the typical workday hours – it can feel almost as though it is not OK to disconnect, or it’s expected to be readily available at almost all times for the next project or crisis.
However, when appropriate boundaries between our careers and personal life are not established, we create boundary issues that hinder our ability to act professionally and efficiently. Boundaries were created to define differences, expectations and limitations. Boundaries also allow you to take back control and compartmentalize demands in the best way to avoid setting yourself up for failure.
As we continue to work during a pandemic, challenge yourself to re-evaluate your boundaries and assess how they are working in your best interest or what may need to be tweaked. Just like self-care, boundaries are meaningful to your mental health.
Tips to consider when setting healthy boundaries in your social life
- Be honest with yourself about what you need.
- Practice with close friends or family first.
- Give yourself permission to say no or speak out.
- Stop seeking approval and validate yourself.
- Do not make assumptions about what others think.
- Choose when to participate and when to leave.
- Remove yourself, instead of trying to change others, you are in control of your actions only.
- If your boundaries are ignored or pushed speak up and be heard.
- Do not take it personally if you are told NO.
- Be willing to come to terms with the outcome.
Take this boundary assessment to see how you should structure your boundaries at home and at work:
Professional Action Boundary Assessment
- Who is the primary beneficiary of the action?
- Would I be comfortable sharing these actions with colleagues?
- If reviewed with my supervisor, would I be comfortable describing my actions or decision?
- Would I be comfortable with a colleague in my profession make this decision or completing this action with a close relative or someone meaningful to me?
- What would I communicate to the family about the action/decision?