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THE RESILIENCE TOOLBOX

How To Develop Your Mental Resilience While Working From Home

How To Create Boundaries Returning To Work

Now that you’re back to work from holidays, what has the transition back to your work schedule looked like?

During the holidays, you likely let down your boundaries so that you could relax and enjoy some well-deserved time off.

Makes sense! I did too!

However, something that came up in conversation recently was the topic of boundaries and how they help you readjust and keep your life balanced heading back into work.

Previously I wrote about How to Say “No” and Maintain Your Boundaries, but specifically have you thought about how you will re-establish your boundaries?

If you need some help adjusting, one strategy many people find helpful is what I call “The 3 P’s” which are to prepare, pause, and practice.

FIRST: PREPARE an answer in advance.

Think about how, where, and when you easily let down your guard for your time and self-care.

For example, maybe it’s working through lunch time.

If you can prepare an answer in advance such as “I’m sorry, I can’t take that meeting. I already have something scheduled.”, it can help give you courage to not let down your boundary.

I know that seems over simplistic, but this is an area that many people struggle with. On average, research shows that three in ten employees will not take lunch breaks while working from home.

We all know that taking time to turn off work to stretch, eat, and disconnect from your computer makes a difference in your overall productivity. No one needs to know if it’s that you want to take lunch to actually eat, help your kids with their homework, go for a walk, take a nap, or draw in a coloring book to give your brain a mental break.

You are establishing your boundary for you.


Here are another few examples:

“I would love to take this on, however, I am already at my maximum capacity. If I do, I will completely burn out.”

“Thank you for asking, however, can I direct you to ______ for help? I cannot support at this time.”

“I love the initiative! I would love to support you, however, currently I have multiple competing priorities and my plate is already full.”

One of the steps you can take to reestablish your boundaries returning to work is to prepare an answer in advance.

One of the steps you can take to reestablish your boundaries returning to work is to prepare an answer in advance. Click To Tweet

(Note: If you are looking for a keynote speaker or workshop to help drive home your wellness initiatives, contact Kevin here!)

SECOND: PAUSE before you respond.

Once you have an idea of what you’re going to say when your boundaries are challenged, it’s easy to want to provide an answer right away. However, your knee jerk reaction might make you commit to something you don’t want to do.

The Hero Mindset keynote focuses on small things that make a big difference to help you become a hero in your own movie. So, here’s how you can put that mindset into practice.

Take a moment to pause before you respond and, if you can, create some space to think about what you are committing to.

For example, if it’s an email you receive, step back from your computer, go for a walk, stand up and stretch… do something to mentally disconnect before you blitz through another response you may not want to give.

If it’s a phone call you are receiving during your lunch break or after hours, pause for a moment before you just pick up and answer the call. 

Can you send the call to voicemail? Can you check the voicemail tomorrow? If you do listen to it, can you wait to respond until tomorrow, or by text?

Think about how your impulsive reaction may get you in situations you don’t want to be in, and then think, “How can I create some space to pause for reflection?”.

Think about how your impulsive reaction may get you in situations you don’t want to be in, and then think, “How can I create some space to pause for reflection?”. Click To Tweet

THIRD: PRACTICE your boundaries.

Notice where in your day or your week that you struggle with boundaries the most, and then be conscious about when those moments will arise.

For example, is lunch time the issue for you?

Do you always work past 5pm and take calls at dinner time?

Do you find yourself reading emails in bed and replying when you should be falling asleep?

Knowing that your boundaries will be challenged, think in advance on where you will most likely need to practice your boundaries, and then put the first two “P’s” into practice as well.

If you need a reminder, write down your prepared answer on a post it note and place it by your computer or on your nightstand, wherever you know that you often are when the challenge happens, and then use that as a mental trigger to remind yourself what you need to do when it happens.

The more you practice setting your boundaries, the more trust you will build within yourself to maintain them when they are challenged.

The more you practice setting your boundaries, the more trust you will build within yourself to maintain them when they are challenged. Click To Tweet

(Note: If you are looking for a keynote speaker or workshop to help drive home your wellness initiatives, contact Kevin here!)

In Conclusion

Learning how to get back on track after the holidays can be difficult and you most certainly want to make a transition that doesn’t leave you depleted or resentful towards your colleagues.

Instead of hoping that the space will be there for you to avoid burnout, take some time to think about how you want your days and weeks to be so that you are intentional as to what you allow and don’t allow into your life and schedule.

Maintaining your wellbeing over the next several winter months will again be a priority for those who struggle to navigate this remote work environment and learn to take control of their own schedule.

Learn how to stop saying “Yes” and get back in control as you create new boundaries returning to work.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you succeed:

How to Say “No” and Maintain Your Boundaries

How To Manage Kids In A Virtual Meeting

How To Get Back On Track After The Holidays

Whenever you are ready here are the 3 best ways I can help you:

  1. Get a FREE copy of my autobiography (click here)
  2. Looking for a speaker for your next event? (Contact Kevin)
  3. Learn more about The Resilience Toolbox Workshop (click here)

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