Boundaries & burnout

By Kelsey Woodworth

This is a recap of our town hall event held in New York City on November 16, 2016 at Sub Rosa

It’s hard to say no. Women often put everyone else before themselves which can be the fast track to burnout. At this town hall, we lit candles and really slowed things down.  We opened the evening with a meditation led by Lauren Bille of The Big Quiet, and eased our way into the discussion. 

The big question of the night: when, where, and how do we draw the line between life and work? Maybe you’re thinking, “I work for myself, I am my brand, it’s not possible to separate the two.” Or, “forget it, I’m already burnt out.” The conversation quickly turned from saying no, to saying yes.  Saying yes to the present, and yes to mindfulness in order to maintain a healthy life balance. Burnout is caused by the emotional pushback of conflict, not the overload of work. The bottom line is that we need as much love and energy coming in as we have going out. So we set boundaries, which are a form of self care that allow your current situation to be sustainable. 

The brave ladies who shared their stories first were:



1. Listen to your body. It’s the easiest thing we can do, but many of us choose to ignore the signs. When you’re tired sleep. When you’re ill, rest. When your feet hurt, change your shoes. All of the colds and flus are not a coincidence, they are a result of you running yourself down. Stock up on those vitamins and get yourself some local honey, bunny. 

2. Brain quiet. How do you find peace and stillness? Meditation? Exercise? A walk? Eating out alone? A Friday night in, disconnected from all technology? Figure out what works, and make time for this the same way you do your work. 

3. Acknowledge the little moments. Cherish your mornings with the paper. Savor your daily coffee. Enjoy a glass of red with dinner. When you get to the gym say to yourself, “I’m here!” These little punctuations in our day to day are small reminders and rewards that we are continuously achieving. 

4. Be present. When you sit down and eat your lunch notice the taste. When you walk to the bathroom, feel the connection between your feet and the floor. Notice the space between your eyebrows. Unclench your jaw.

5. Manage your notifications. If the red bubble that reminds you there are 75 unread emails stresses you out, turn it off. Utilize the “do not disturb” setting on your messaging platforms, and explain to coworkers that these time limitations are vital for your boundaries. 




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