How & Why to Set Work Boundaries

Why to Set Boundaries


Everyone has likely heard the term “burnout” in the last two years. It’s most commonly associated with work, but burnout can be caused by anything in our lives that is taking from us more than it’s giving. The WHO defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to

one's job”. Burnout is not only frustrating, but can also affect our health . People experiencing burnout often have symptoms of:

● Extreme fatigue

● Depression and anxiety

● Weakened immune system

● Difficulties falling or staying asleep

● Chronic inflammation which can lead to cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic conditions

● Physical pain


Steps to Fight Burnout

● Identify what about your job is causing the most stress- are you on call all the time? Maybe you don’t have any privacy at work? A boss who is micromanaging you? Coworkers who are not doing their fair share?

● Don’t work outside of work hours- this means no email, no calls, no texts, no staying late to cover something that can wait until the next day. Once you start to do this, you set the precedent that you will always do that

● Schedule time throughout the day to refill your own cup. This could look like going for a walk every afternoon, scheduling lunch with a coworker you like, taking 10 minutes to drink your coffee in the morning and get settled before opening your email, etc.

● Feed your body nourishing things. When we are super busy, it’s easy to not drink water throughout the day, accidentally skip lunch, and then find yourself in the breakroom at 3pm with a dehydration headache eating week old birthday cake, but we know that this won’t make us feel better in the long run

○ Pack nutritious meals/snacks and take the time to eat them

○ Keep a water bottle with you all day, taking breaks to fill it up and get a walk in at the same time

○ Plan a walk in the afternoon as a pick me up instead of an extra coffee or sugary treat


By: Cassie Zehenny

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