Every month, The Sunset Project board member Kevin O'Brien breaks down news articles, stories, and people that he finds interesting and relatable to The Sunset Project's mission!
Have you ever felt like all the aspects of your life (home life, job, relationships) all seem to blur into one at any given time? It’s almost as if you can’t shut your brain off and you ruminate on something for far too long. Or you have taken on more than you can handle, and now you are incredibly stressed out about all the responsibility crushing your shoulders. If this sounds even remotely close to a situation you’re in, you may be experiencing some issues with boundaries.
Simply put, boundaries are the parameters we all set to assure one aspect of our life does not spill over into the other, or to assure that we are not stretched too thin when it comes to responsibilities. There is a threshold where the quality of a job suffers if there are too many other jobs to juggle at the same time.
Speaking for myself, I am naturally a people pleaser. I absolutely HATE letting people down. There are so many situations where I end up saying yes to something when I really shouldn’t. Some of the reasons I can think of not to take something on are: I may not know how to properly complete a task, I’m already stressed enough with stuff on my plate, or I am completely exhausted and need a break. It can be so easy to add to the pile and get caught up in everything, but I know that I need to set proper boundaries for my own well-being, and you should too. Being assertive does not come easy to me at all, and that can be an issue when it comes to boundaries. There is a fear that it may come off as selfish or rude, but it is merely a way of self-preservation. You’re not a jerk for turning something down or asking for time to yourself.
I have a professor who is beyond passionate about encouraging students to set boundaries. In the helping professions, it is especially vital to have those in place to ensure we are always at our best to serve others. It doesn’t have to be specific to this line of work, however. Boundaries are important for everyone! I never really thought about how important they are until just recently. I took this opportunity to reassess my own boundaries and find ways to ensure I am taking care of myself. I thought of this as the perfect time to share this with you all as well and to assess where your boundaries are at.
Ask yourself how your responsibilities are affecting your life. Are you able to take on more, are you happy with where you’re at right now, or do you need to take a step back? It is ok to allow yourself some time to do what you want free of the burden of everyday life. As I have stressed before, find what makes you tick. Find time to step away from stressors for a while to make sure that when you come back, you are refreshed and ready to take anything on.
The Take Home:
Boundaries are IMPORTANT. Take time each day to try and identify places where you can add (or subtract) them to benefit yourself overall!
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