How Moms Can Set Healthy Boundaries When Working from Home

Moms have the weight of the world on their shoulders right now. So many women have either been laid off from their jobs during this Pink-Collar recession, quit their jobs to take care of their kids, or are working and caring for their family and virtually schooling their kids simultaneously. Women in male-dominated fields, like technology, may feel added pressure to prove their worth. We need to care for ourselves and our mental health. It’s time to use the power skills we dedicate to our business to our personal lives. 

One way to set a healthy boundary is to say ‘no.’ Not saying no, but wishing you had can cause frustration and stress. Especially now when we are working from home and don’t have boundaries between the office. This behavior pattern happens when you have not been taught how to say no or have not seen effective role models demonstrate how to say no. Saying no is simply a skill that is easy to learn.

Like all new skills, it just takes practice.

Of course, in the workplace you may feel you are supposed to say yes to any request that comes from your boss or one of the leaders. But where do you draw the line?

You need to set healthy boundaries by identifying the feeling of overwhelm, communicating your needs, asking for feedback, and saying no at work, at home, and to yourself. And then, finally you will learn how to manage your projects and plan your time.

First, it is important to note that there are many untrained or unprepared managers in the workplace who were promoted for technical skills, not emotional intelligence or project management skills.

Do you recognize the warning signs when you begin to feel overwhelmed by too many responsibilities and demands? Do you push ahead no matter what?

Sometimes, it’s hard to admit that you’ve reached your limit and need to take a break. Maybe you frantically do more and more in an attempt to keep up, until a big mistake brings your efforts screeching to a halt. Or perhaps you stop only when you get sick. Or maybe you just give up.

Here are a few signals that your workload may be causing you to feel the beginnings of burnout:

  • Mental or physical exhaustion
  • Feelings of ineffectiveness
  • Disengagement or isolation
  • Higher sensitivity to feedback
  • Avoidance of everyday situations, especially your least favorite work tasks
  • Snapping at co-workers, customers, or family members
  • Sleep problems
  • Digestive issues
  • Engaging in angry outbursts
  • Feeling resentful

Each of these negative signals is a symptom of extreme stress. Rather than waiting until things are boiling over, practice noticing when you are beginning to feel overwhelmed at work or at home. Jot these feelings down. Then communicate what’s happening to your manager.

Here are four ways you can use your power skills to find balance, increase happiness, and boost productivity:

1. Take exercise breaks throughout your day. If your kids have a break with virtual school, step away from the computer with them.

2. Go outside and soak in vitamin D – even if it’s cold outside. Go for family walks.

3. Get social- connect with a friend over Zoom or even go for a safe and socially distanced walk together. Moms need to vent to someone who understands their pressures.

4. Hug your kids, or simply tell someone “thank you” or something you appreciate about them

To begin reducing your work-related burnout ,write your ideas for communicating that you need to offload some of your work. Think about what you would like to change about your work priorities or schedule. Write down your ideas about how to ask for what you want and need. What words or phrases can you use to make you more comfortable and able to stick to your boundaries? Role play with your partner, coworker, or friend.

JANICE LITVIN is on a mission to help leaders and teams banish burnout in their organizations so their employees can come to work healthy, happy and ready to work. She is a certified virtual presenter and SHRM recertification provider who teaches that replacing your employees is much more expensive and time-consuming than helping them be well.

She draws on over 20 years in the human resources field, 10 years in the IT industry, studies in psychology, and experience changing her own behavior in response to stress using cognitive behavior therapy.

Litvin coaches leaders on keeping teams happy and productive through her unique wellness strategies. Through keynotes, workshops, and accountability groups, she provides simple, easy-to-implement techniques to manage stress to prevent burnout, engage in wellness, and fall in love with fitness. The result: lasting behavior change.

Connect with Janice Litvin on Twitter @JLitvin, Facebook @WorkplaceWellnessSpeaker, Instagram @JaniceLitvin, LinkedIn, and visit www.JaniceLitvin.com.Banish Burnout Toolkit™ is available on Amazon and wherever fine books are sold

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