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One key ingredient for wellbeing

boundaries Hayley Gillard

There’s SO MUCH on our to do lists! As a species!

As women, I think we feel the need to go go go go continuously!

It’s almost as though in order to be seen as ‘successful’ we have to be seen as being busy.

When people ask me if I’m busy with work, it’s like there’s a measure of how good my business is doing if I answer yes, I am busy.

I’ve found myself saying “good busy, not bad busy” too often.

  • You’ll tidy the house whilst you’re having your lunch break, right?!
  • You just need 20 minutes more in order to get that thing done then you’ll stop work.
  • You’ll make that important call in the car on the way to pick the kids up. You’ll do your work social media check in’s after dinner.

Recognise any of this?!

Multitasking!  Working when you’re supposed to be having a break.  Cramming lots of things in to one block of time! Argh! It’s no wonder we get stressed out!


It’s just not happening.

This week’s blog is all about boundaries – and how important having them are for our sanity. It took me a LONG time to put boundaries in place and I learnt the need for them the hard way.

What is a boundary?

I’d describe it as an understanding of what you will/will not do, what you do/do not find acceptable, what you will/will not tolerate and then sticking to your guidelines on that. Everyone will have different boundaries and find some things more acceptable than others. No one can tell you what is acceptable, it’s up to you to know what you’re comfortable with.

Some of my boundaries include:

Not checking my social media work accounts after 8pm (its actually usually earlier than that). My evenings are a time for my family, not my clients.

Saying no to parties or events that mean I have to stay over in a place that makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m completely at peace with the fact I don’t want to sleep on someone’s sofa anymore!

You can imagine some scenarios where not sticking to boundaries or respecting someone else’s boundaries may cause an issue, I’m sure.

Having these boundaries in place have genuinely made me happier.

I spent quality time with my family, being 100% present, which of course improves our relationships, communication, trust and respect.

I have a good work/life balance. I say no to some work that I can’t fit in.

I don’t feel social pressure to conform. If I don’t want to do something, I politely say so. My friends respect this and I don’t feel guilt.

From a self-care perspective, having good boundaries is a great big green tick in the box.

Most people’s boundary issues tend to be about work.

It’s important to remember that whilst we spend hours and hours and days and days at work or worrying about work, what this really comes down to is what we want to prioritise. We all need an income and we all have to work, but the key lesson I’ve learnt in all of this and the one thing I want to try and teach you is that it all comes down to what our priorities are.

By thinking about what is most important to us in our lives, we realise how much we may be neglecting the things that actually matter to us most. Nobody ever gets to their death bed and says “I wish I’d worked more” do they?!

So your task this week – have a look at your daily routine, work out which bits you like and which bits aren’t working for you, then answer these questions:

Am I happy with the amount of time and headspace I give to work?

How do I feel about my work/life balance?

What is the number one most important thing in my life and am I giving it the attention it deserves?

It’s REALLY important to not be too hard on yourselves with all of this. This is about self-care not self-criticism!

Recognise you might want to make some changes and do it, but also recognise the things you do well.

What can I consider changing in order to still fulfil my work requirements but shift towards putting my number one thing first?

What do I do for myself and my number one most important thing that is great?

So putting boundaries in place really is about self-care.

Looking after ourselves is so so important for all aspects of our lives and yet there is a HUGE stigma attached to self-care being selfish, a luxury or something that only people who ‘have their shit together’ can have! Wrong! And I’m here to prove it!

If you’d like more help putting better boundaries in place, consider working with me one to one or in my all-female group wellbeing community Ignite + Glow.

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