SETTING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
1) Put yourself at the top of your own to-do list. If you are constantly expending energy and not adding any fuel to your tank, sooner or later you’ll run out of gas. You’ll have nothing to give to your significant other or your children and you’ll certainly have nothing to give to your career. Taking care of YOU is your top priority!
2) Saying “no” to others is saying “yes” to yourself. What does saying no mean? Don’t always be available to take on the tough assignments or work overtime on the holidays. Don’t automatically reach for the doughnuts just because someone brought them in to work and you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Don’t come into work when you have a contagious cold that others will catch. Caring for yourself, you will have more to give to others.
3) Protect your ch’i (energy). Don’t take on other people’s negativity. People tend to dump their problems and vent their worries on others who allow them to do it. We end up feeling drained while they walk away feeling lighter for unburdening their load on us. Spreading harmful gossip is another energy zapper. Focus on work and taking care of yourself and avoid all energy vampires.
4) Turn on your answering machine. There, I said it. I give you permission to not answer your phone. Whether at work or at home, you have the power to slow down your responses. You might want to let people know–or not–that during the hours of this and that you are not available. Think of how much easier to get your work done if you have a solid chunk of uninterrupted time? You’ll sleep better at home if you stop accepting phone calls from friends or colleagues at least two hours before your bedtime.
4) Leave work at work. It’s a good idea to decompress from the stress at work before you begin interacting with your family and friends. Develop some little routine that becomes your own individual “ritual” to help you make the transition from work life to personal life. Your ritual will be your own. The most important thing is to allow yourself at least 20 to 30 minutes at the end of work to let go of the corporate dramas and get your mind back in touch with your life and what’s important to you. After all, you’re not only a professional. You’re a member of a family,and, you have other interests besides what you do for a living.