Making Time for You

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4 Tips to Build Better Boundaries while Living and Working from Home

Distinguishing when school stops and personal time begins while working from home can seem impossible, especially when you’re lying in bed at 2 p.m. on your third zoom call of the day. To regain that sense of separation between school and personal time, follow these four therapist-recommended tips, and welcome balance back into your life. 

1. Designate a Space for Schoolwork

The first step to reclaiming boundaries is to designate a specific space to work on schoolwork. While working from home, it is imperative to set physical boundaries that distinguish school from personal. These stark distinctions will allow you to feel a separation between work and relaxation while habitating in the same space. To avoid the temptation of working on schoolwork in personal areas, make sure you have everything you need to be successful in your school space.

2. Set a Schedule

The second step to reclaiming boundaries is to set a schedule. Map out the requirements and tasks of each day, making sure to schedule in small breaks to prevent burnout. Construct a schedule that is as close to a typical school day as possible so as to prevent the disruption of time boundaries. Be sure to follow through when setting a schedule. If you want to transition from schoolwork to personal time at 7 p.m., hold yourself accountable, and put the laptop away.

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3. Practice Self-Care

The third step to reclaiming boundaries is to practice self-care. Spend your personal time doing something that recharges you. You will be less tempted to continue working on schoolwork if you make the most out of your self-care time. A great way to recharge and take advantage of personal time is to practice breathing exercises. Breathwork allows you to get out of your head and into your body, so you can destress and unwind. 

4. Go Outside

The last step to reclaiming boundaries is to go outside. Living and working in the same space for days on ends can feel suffocating. It can stifle creativity, motivation, and blur lines between boundaries. Going outside to run errands, take a walk, or drive around town can reestablish a sense of normalcy to your routine, making boundaries much easier to maintain. 

When worked at, a separation between school and personal time is possible. Boundaries can be difficult to uphold, but in order to get the most out of your time in a new COVID world, it is important to continue working on them. 

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