BOUNDARIES: 23 Simple Strategies To Reclaim Your Time and Energy

Say no, set limits, and save your mental health.

As the WFH era continues, boundaries of all kinds are getting fuzzier, and mental wellness is becoming even more of a priority. Here are 22 easy-to-implement strategies to help you set healthy limits, and reclaim some balance in your life.

Healthy boundaries:

  • Support self-esteem
  • Are a form of self-care
  • Help you get your needs met
  • Help you advocate for yourself 
  • Teach people the right way to treat you
  • Set the foundation for healthy relationships 
  • Affirm and require respect—from yourself and others
  • Help you protect yourself emotionally and energetically
  • Establish space for peace, joy, grace, and understanding in your daily life

At work, healthy boundaries can look like:

  1. Carving out time and space to focus and work quietly
  2. Closing your door and putting on headphones
  3. Clearly communicating your availability or lack thereof, e.g. when you will and will not respond to emails and calls. 
  4. Blocking “you time” on your calendar
  5. Declining meetings that you are not required for
  6. Starting/Ending/Leaving meetings on time
  7. Taking your full lunch or break time
  8. Minimizing overtime and ending your day at a reasonable hour
  9. Setting alarms/reminders to remind yourself to take a break or end your work day
  10. Not lunching with your colleagues if that’s not your thing
  11. Saying no to after-work and extra-curricular functions if you do not want to participate
  12. Saying no to unpaid labor and un-promotable work
  13. Delegating where appropriate
  14. Asking for help where appropriate
  15. Negotiating deadlines
  16. Saying no to hugs and other invasions of personal space
  17. Not connecting with colleagues on social media
  18. Turning off notifications and turning on “unavailable” statuses
  19. Declining to engage in pointless discussions
  20. Saying “I’ll get back to you”, in order to get time to consider a response
  21. If you’re WFH and have the space, setting up an actual office that you can close/retreat from at the end of the work day
  22. Being professionally friendly without oversharing. People do not need to know all your business. For Black people especially, the likelihood is that despite appearances most of your white colleagues will not truly see you as human anyway. Don’t waste your energy trying to make them do so.
  23. Taking ALL of your PTO–and being unavailable to the office during that time. (Honestly…most of us are not working in life-or-death scenarios. Reclaim your time. Guard it fiercely.)

🔘 BONUS TIP: “No” is a full sentence. 


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Unless otherwise stated, text and images ⒸLisa Hurley/@happyhappyphoenix

Primary Image ⒸCiana McCowan

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