It is important to have clear boundaries in all areas of your life, but it is crucial in the home environment if you are working remotely.
For most of us working from home, our work/life boundaries have become somewhat blurred.
We go from our bedroom to our “office” maybe in our pyjamas or gym gear. Or, we stay in our bedroom to work which may be the only space for efficient broadband.
Parents have to work on laptops and contend with Zoom or Microsoft Teams meetings within this confusion and more often, a cacophony of voices.
Who takes the attic space to work? Who looks after the children? Who does the lion’s share of the housework?
Working with a client recently, I asked the question; “how did you end up working at the kitchen table while your partner ‘took over’ the attic space?” My client responded: “I would have preferred the attic but I thought, it’s easier being in the kitchen for meal prep and other tasks.”
What would it take to be clear and confident to assert ourselves and ask for what it is we really want? How do you set and build healthy boundaries?
Having no boundaries is often an indicator of low self-esteem. It is important to have self-esteem which is unconditional acknowledgement for your own worth and lovability. You are acknowledged for “being” a good person. Building low esteem is an essential component of the Confidence Coaching Programme at CarmelOKeeffe.com.
Identify your core values and align with your everyday living. For example, if ‘Meaningful Work’ is one of your top values, what does this look like in your current role? Are you in alignment with this value in the course of your daily work?
In these days of lockdown, we need to have healthy boundaries to support balanced effective wellness.
What would healthy boundaries for wellness look like?
- Emotional Wellness Awareness and Happiness
- Mental Wellness Resilient and Consistent
- Spiritual Wellness Authentic and Confident
- Physical Wellness Healthy and Effective
- Here are some guidelines for setting healthy boundaries and the below is an example of situations when you have clear boundaries:
People may not:
- Help themselves to my time and energy
- Stick blame on me for their failings
- Make comments about my weight
- Take out their anger on me
- Humiliate me in front of others
- Use me as a dumping ground for their pain
I have a right to ask for:
- More information from a medical practitioner
- Respect what’s mine
- Positive feedback to support my growth
- Fair treatment and equal rights
- Evidence before I let you in
- Time to relax and recharge and learn
To protect my time and energy it’s okay to…….
- Request that a friend or co-worker be on time for our appointments
- Bow out of a volunteer activity
- Take the occasional day off
- Delegate and share tasks
- Spend tie with positive people
- Say no to energy zappers
- Make time for meaningful tasks
It is healthy to have clear boundaries. But initially, when you begin to build/rebuild boundaries, you will feel resistance from other people; not from everyone but from some people as they are not used to this ‘new you’. You need to be clear and assert your right to be healthy and well. Having healthy boundaries means knowing and understanding what your limits are.
Name your limits.
You can’t set good boundaries if you’re unsure of where you stand. So identify your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits. Consider what you can tolerate and accept what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed.
Tune into your feelings.
Discomfort and resentment are two key feelings in others that can be red flags that we are letting go of our boundaries and they may not like it. Feelings of resentment usually come from being taken advantage of or not appreciated. It’s often a sign that we’re pushing ourselves either beyond our own limits because we feel guilty or someone else is imposing their expectations, views or values on us.
So when it comes to home-schooling and remote working, ask yourself, what for you, would be clear boundaries at home. Do you need a separate room to work? One client who recently began home working lives in a small house. He wanted to set up an office and his partner didn’t want him taking over the spare bedroom because her clothes were in there; instead she wanted him to work at the kitchen table. It would mean that each evening, for dinner time, he would have to move all his work belongings and store them away. He was afraid to say no, I need the space. His partner felt it was also ‘handy’ if he was working in the kitchen as he could prepare the dinner and load the dishwasher from time to time. After a few sessions with me, we worked on his confidence and he was able to have a clear and calm conversation with his partner, that yes her clothes were important, but really for Zoom calls, he needed his own space and that meant working in the spare room. It turned out that his partner felt that she was doing most of the housework and so they put a system in place. Each knew the boundaries. Along with career coaching, lots of my clients benefit from confidence coaching sessions with me and this benefits all areas of their lives from personal to professional. Check out the Confidence Coaching tab on my website for more information.
“To be nobody but yourself in a world that tries its best day and night to make you everyone else, is to fight the hardest battle anyone can fight and never stop fighting”. John Pearson