You have a healthy lifestyle, exercising, eating right… you’ve even committed to a new meditation practice. You’re doing all the right things to avoid burnout. But there’s one thing still wearing you down… the demand on your time and your lack of boundaries.
Here’s how your week looks:
- you’re booked solid next Thursday, but you need to be off by 3 p.m. to be at your kid’s soccer game
- your partner is asking you to switch coverage with her next month, but that would really not work with your schedule
- your Aunt Sally’s birthday party is at a very inconvenient time
- you’re being asked to do surgery now on a patient who isn’t scheduled yet
So all you have to do is try to get out of some “commitments.” Easy, right?
Not so much. Because getting out of each of these situations would require a whole lot of explaining. And that feels worse than sucking it up and doing them.
And then what are you left with? Resentment, anger, frustration, and probably all with a touch of passive aggression. So now the drain on your time also becomes a drain on your energy and happiness.
Do a paradigm shift with me and think about this: What if you set some boundaries, didn’t explain, and just said “no”? And what if you knew that each of these situations are huge contributors to your feeling of burnout?
I know that setting boundaries and just saying “no” seems nearly impossible to some people, especially when you’re in the business of caring for and serving others.
And it just doesn’t feel like the “nice” thing to do. After all, Aunt Sally did send you that nice birthday gift last year. How could you possibly miss her party?
We hold ourselves accountable every day for keeping our patients alive and well, our families healthy and happy, and ourselves in one piece.
That, in itself, is a full-time job. Am I right?
In a world where we are constantly explaining ourselves to patients, staff, insurance companies, it’s nice to know there’s a line that can be drawn. Finally.
We owe it to ourselves to draw that line in permanent marker.
Maybe we can’t be all things to all people. But we don’t have to explain to the world why.
And maybe we can allow each other the benefit of the doubt.
What do you think?