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4 Healthy Boundaries To Increase Self-Care Within The Workplace

Written by: Claire Elmes, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you ever found it difficult to return to your own personal commitments after spending the day working from your house? Have you felt exhausted after work? Or receive a notification after your work hours but have been tempted to quickly answer it?

With all the changes over the past year, remote working has become more and more popular amongst organizations and with everyone so easily accessible from home, it has become increasingly difficult to set boundaries within your workplace to promote your own personal wellbeing.

So what boundaries can you put in place to ensure that you are protecting your own wellbeing at work?

1. Pencil in time for you to self-care

During your day, it is important to make sure that you pencil in some time to do self-care activities within your routine. For many working professionals, it can feel difficult to schedule anything other than fixed meetings and appointments into your schedule, however, this leaves you vulnerable to others to take advantage of the free time within your schedule. This can especially be the case if you are working in a team environment and use a shared electronic calendar.

For example, something that you could start to do today is to schedule your lunch hour within your work calendar to protect this time for yourself. It can be easy for colleagues to see some free time in your calendar and create a meeting assuming that you are available, so this small action helps to send a signal to others that you are busy and ensure you get the time that you need.

Additionally, this could involve scheduling an activity that you could enjoy in the evening such as going out for dinner, visiting family members, or going to the gym so that you are officially off-duty at that specified time.

2. Set expectations and communicate with your team

It can also be really important to set boundaries within the expectations of your team environment regarding your work hours and availability. Whether you work a 9-5 day or you work evenings, communicating with your team about the hours you will be available is an important way to create boundaries as to when they should expect a response.

This will allow you to be available through email, IM, or another team platform for all team members during the hours you specify, however outside of these hours you will be able to shut off from work commitments. This is particularly helpful during the evenings, when we may struggle to switch off or be tempted to answer another message.

3. Use Technology to your advantage

One of the advantages of remote working becoming more mainstream, and more companies now working in a hybrid manner, is that there is a load of free technological platforms that you can take advantage of to increase your productivity and make your boundaries clear.

Team Management platforms such as Asana and Trello allow for product management to be reviewed in your own time, without the need for numerous zoom calls. This can be essential if you and your teamwork different hours no more late-night meetings or rushing from being with family to attending a management meeting! It is a great way to make your work more manageable.

You can also use Instant Messaging platforms such as Slack or Teams to change your status when you are available or when you are ‘busy’ to communicate with others in your company that you are completing other tasks and when they should expect you to respond. This is also a great way to ‘clock out’ at the end of your workday, sending a final message such as “Have a good evening everyone, speak to you tomorrow :)” can be friendly and polite whilst also putting the boundary in place that you are leaving for the evening.

4. Take your days off as you time!

When you do end up having a day off, make sure to take the time for yourself! It’s so tempting in the online accessible world to be tempted to log into your workspace platforms on your day off to ‘just check’ on what is happening.

It is important that when you have time off, this is spent focusing on yourself and helping you feel re-energized for the days ahead. It can be helpful to put an ‘Out of Office’ automatic response on for the period you are away so that everyone is aware of your lack of availability and to ensure that any urgent concerns are forwarded to the appropriate person. This also helps you to be accountable for taking your time off as planned.

These days, it is useful to do an activity that will increase your mental wellbeing whether you enjoy going dancing, or going out for a meal or visiting family or friends, as long as you are happy and relaxed whilst doing this it will help!

For those who can’t leave the house environment, especially with COVID and isolation at the moment, this can also mean just setting aside time to do activities that are outside of your work area.

For example, having a movie marathon or connecting with friends via zoom. There is something for everyone, and participating in activities that help you feel good will help decrease your risk of burnout and increase your overall wellbeing.

To find out more strategies on how to use boundaries to increase self-care in the workplace, why not check out my post here or book a discovery call with me to discuss how we can help.

Follow Claire on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit her website for more info!


Claire Elmes, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Claire Elmes is the founder of Inspire You and is passionate about work-life balance. Having experienced burnout, Claire is dedicated to empowering people to work through stress and anxiety, traumatic life events, shift mindset, regulate emotions, gain clarity, and develop a stable routine. Through coaching and therapeutic techniques, Claire helps people tap into their potential and transform their lives for the better. Since Covid 19, Claire has recognized many companies are changing how they work and is supporting them to develop innovative well-being strategies to prevent staff burnout and help teams thrive, not survive. Claire provides companies with regular well-being support on a wide variety of topics such as: "How to avoid burnout", "How to make time in your week for what matters", "How to stop overthinking", "How to improve sleep", " How to manage imposter syndrome," "How to be the best version of you", to name just a few. Claire's mission is to empower the emotional well-being of staff and bring the fun back into work life.


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