Your well-being

Setting boundaries at home and at work

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Boundaries are invisible limits you can set regarding the words and actions you will accept from others.

In a school community, boundaries may be blurred. Schools often recreate familial settings, making it harder to clearly define the separation between the professional and the personal.

School staff may feel they don’t need to ask permission to do or say things that can feel too personal for some. Colleagues may cross the line without even being aware they are doing so.

Creating boundaries at work will help keep you focused and limit stress in your everyday life. Here are some tips for establishing healthy boundaries:

  • Many people don’t know their boundaries have been crossed until it happens. This means you will need to pay attention to how others’ actions make you feel.
  • Remember that when you set boundaries, you are modeling professionalism for others.
  • Boundaries go both ways. You can and should say “no” if something feels too personal, but you also must learn to accept “no” from others. If you are careful not to share too much personal information, you can avoid problems later.
  • Boundaries include having open and honest conversations about what makes you feel comfortable and uncomfortable in the workplace.
  • Setting boundaries at home means attending to chores, spending time with loved ones and limiting the amount of time you set aside for work-related matters.
  • Setting boundaries includes paying attention to your own care, including your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness.
  • Prioritize what is most important to you and what you won’t tolerate, either at work or at home — and be clear about your priorities with others.

For additional resources, visit Your well-being.

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