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Wednesday, 6 December, 2023

Boundaries and stress

Boundaries and stress. Stress is something that happens when you don’t have the right boundaries in your life and specifically when you’re trying to do too much and appease everyone and you’re not taking care of yourself.

It’s natural. You feel overwhelmed, which is a stressful situation, which in turn creates all types of mental and physical problems. During my personal burnout journey, I lost everything. One of the key causes of this was the stress that I was under to try to deliver everything that I was supposed to deliver, whether it was my job that had some unrealistic requests and my inability to protect myself with boundaries and a proper schedule, to the demands of providing for a family, and raising children, and navigating all kinds of different things. It added up and it created a pretty, pretty chaotic year for me.

You’re probably feeling some stress right now. With the lingering emotions of a global pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, etc, it’s a stressful time for many.

Stress is taking a toll on your life and you need to figure out ways to address it. I share on Twitter and my other social media platforms a ton of resources on how to manage stress. There are different ways to go about it, but the key elements to take away from stress are:1. Getting proper rest, sleeping, a consistent sleep schedule, eating properly,2. Being able to keep tabs on your day, get rid of clutter in your home, if at all possible, because it’s causing you to stress trying to figure out where things are.

If you don’t know where your keys are, then every morning, you’re stressing out, trying to figure out where your keys are. Find a place for them, put them there. Always. That way, you never lose them. You don’t have to think about it. They’re just going to be there. The same thing with your clothes, pick your clothes out the night before as your parent told you to. There’s a reason for that. The reason might be different from what your mom wanted to do. She was probably just trying to save some time to get you out the door so you didn’t miss the bus or you weren’t late to school.

In my situation, simplifying my clothes made a big difference. I don’t have to think about what I’m wearing. The clothes I have fit more or less and everything else that I do on a daily basis is consistent. I don’t have to think about it. It’s autopilot, just like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, getting cleaned up, all of these things. I don’t stress about it because I know what’s going to happen. I know when I’m going to be doing them, and I do them.

The other day, I was late to work because of the weather and I was a few minutes late for an interview for a position that I’m hiring for. I was able to message because I was a rider and not a driver in the car: don’t text and drive people, and I was able to message that individual, indicating that I was going to be a few minutes late, which is not something that typically happens to me. Quite frankly, I don’t remember the last time I was late for something. But sometimes, things happen, just like snowstorms.

I didn’t stress about it. I had the capability to message that person and let them know that I was going to be running late. That immediately relieved my stress levels because I do not like being late. I feel that it is insulting to the other party when you are not on time. For me, it shows a lack of respect. I’m not picking on you, if you are somebody that struggles with being on time, but it’s something you want to take in mind. It does cause you stress or causes stress to others when people are late, so do your best to be on time.

Michael Levitt
Michael Levitt
Michael Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of The Breakfast Leadership Network, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout consulting firm. He is a Keynote speaker, host of the Breakfast Leadership show, a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, a Fortune 500 consultant, and author of the new book BURNOUT PROOF.

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