Over the past few weeks, I’ve been supporting companies and organizations with “mental health” group coaching calls.
They’ve been insightful and inspirational.
Personally, I’ve felt supported during these calls, because they’ve served as a reminder that I’m not alone in this journey.
In one call, we had 100+ attendees from 10+ countries, all sharing very similar stories, yet, having their own individual experiences.
One of the major themes that arose during these discussions was on how to create effective boundaries while working at home.
Here are the 3 big challenges that came forward during these discussions…
- I’m working longer hours and don’t know how to turn it off.
- I don’t have the space from my family that I’m used to.
- I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to do a great job.
I’m going to speak to each of these below…
1. I’M WORKING LONGER HOURS AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO TURN IT OFF.
It makes perfect sense that this is happening to people!
Many of you are being asked to completely overhaul your work routine and create new habits overnight. This is impossible.
As a result, you’re not taking breaks during the day, and working late into the evening.
Creating new habits is something that happens over time, and is a marathon, not a sprint.
In order to create new habits, it’s important that you do so incrementally.
For example, rather than saying…
“I’m going to take a break at 12 o’clock everyday“, it’s probably more effective to say…
“I’m going to take a break at 12 o’clock on Tuesday”, or something to this effect.
Create a goal that is attainable and gives you an opportunity to build on it.
Ultimately, if you’re able to get to a place where you’re working in “blocks” i.e. “2 hour blocks”, it will break up your day, and give you the energy that you’ll need to thrive.
2. I DON’T HAVE THE SPACE FROM MY FAMILY THAT I’M USED TO.
This is a tricky one because everyone’s family situation is different; however, there are things that you can do to create the “space” that you need.
Regardless of whether you live alone or have lots of people running around the house, self-care becomes mission critical during this time.
Similar to the previous challenge, practicing self-care is a marathon, not a race.
Maybe you already have a strong self-care practice.
If not, creating a new one requires you to do it incrementally.
Perhaps it’s a good time to give Meditation a try.
There are a number of different apps that you can use to help you get started. One of my favorites is “Headspace”.
Walking is another great way to give yourself some alone time, and create the space that you need. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, it can be the perfect way to reset and connect with nature.
You can always turn up the volume and do a workout, or yoga class online or something that will help you get in your body.
Whatever you choose to do, make it a priority, and do it incrementally.
3. I’M PUTTING A LOT OF PRESSURE ON MYSELF TO DO A GREAT JOB.
The first two examples focus on creating external boundaries; this example, “putting pressure on yourself“, is more of an internal boundary.
For many people, uncertainty often stimulates fear. Does this feel familiar to you??
When fear arises, a common response is to “try harder”….
….while the more effective approach is often to “loosen the grip”, and surrender into the process.
In other words…..slow down and take a deep breath….
….At the moment, there are many uncertainties floating around….
How long are we going to be forced to stay inside?
Are we headed towards a depression?
Am I going to lose my job?
All of these are viable questions, AND you don’t have control over any of them.
Meaning, you don’t have control over the outcomes.
What you do have control over, is how you choose to move through the process.
When you feel that you’re putting pressure on yourself, it’s helpful to pause and remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can with the tools that you have.
The rest will take care of itself.
Along with this, once again, self-care plays a critical role in how you manage your process and in this case, your internal boundaries.