A Mindful Approach to Setting Boundaries

May 13th, 2020
mindful approach to setting boundaries

Pre-pandemic, it was sometimes hard enough to get through the demands of a day without feeling exhausted and occasionally overwhelmed. Lately, your body and mind may begin to feel under siege - and may continue to unravel without a purposeful intervention. Here's a few ideas how to approach setting some boundaries in a mindful way:

Transitions in your work schedule
Segment and create an intentional boundary. Think about the natural breaks in your day and "punctuate" the end of each segment with a mindful practice. For example, your 10 am conference ends at 11 am. When you leave that meeting, take a few minutes to stand and stretch at your workspace. Take a few deep breaths and exhale with a sigh each time. Invite your mind to let go of the interactions in that meeting and pay attention to how your body feels as you stand up and stretch. These few minutes belong to you. Use them to care for yourself and re-center your mind and body so it is ready for the next segment of your day.

Choose to nourish yourself during the day. When it is time to have lunch, it is also time to transition away from work. Close the computer, leave your phone on your desk and mindfully walk to the kitchen. Feel your feet on the floor of the hallway and redirect your attention to those steps every time your mind begins to pull you back to work. If you are home with other family members, invite them to join you as you prepare lunch and connect with one another over a meal.

These short breaks are important ways to help you cultivate resiliency in a hectic schedules. Look for the ones that support you and make a conscious choice to integrate them into your schedule.

Transitions between tech time and no-tech time
Switch it off . Use those off-switches on your laptop or your phone. At some point in your day, at least 2 hours before bed, and ideally more, turn them all off. And keep them out of your bedroom. If you have been relying on them to wake you up in the morning, consider investing in an alarm clock. Having tech right next your head while you are trying to sleep often interferes with deep, restorative sleep because a part of your brain is waiting for it to buzz.

Recharge yourself. You take great care to keep your technology recharged. Do the same for yourself by disconnecting from technology for set periods every day. This choice to leave tech behind for a while will allow you to connect to yourself, family and friends. Trying to authentically connect with one eye on a screen is disrespectful and guaranteed to be noticed by others. Think about it, when you are speaking with someone and they keep glancing at their phones, how does it make you feel?

No-tech time. Create a ‘no tech zone’ for your house, and set aside ‘no tech hours’ for your entire family. You may soon find that tech connections are no substitute for human connections.

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