Topics Covered In This Article
-6 Types of Boundaries
-4 F Trauma Types
-Emotional Regulation Strategy (Emotional Freedom Technique -EFT)
-Trauma Informed Social Emotional Learning
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress, usually related to work or other responsibilities. It is characterized by a lack of motivation, feeling overwhelmed, and a reduced sense of accomplishment, which can have negative effects on both professional and personal life.
One way to prevent or overcome burnout is to establish clear boundaries at work. Boundaries are guidelines that help individuals manage their time, energy, and emotions effectively, and they can be especially important in work situations that are demanding or high-stress.
To begin using boundaries at work, start by identifying what is most important to you and what you need to feel balanced and fulfilled. This might include setting specific working hours or avoiding work-related tasks outside of those hours, taking regular breaks throughout the day, or limiting the number of meetings or tasks you take on at once.
It can also be helpful to communicate your boundaries clearly to colleagues or supervisors, so that they understand your needs and can work with you to create a more supportive and sustainable work environment. Finally, remember to prioritize self-care and take time for activities that help you recharge and replenish your energy, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.
Perfectionists often use their work as a way to validate their self-worth. They believe that if they produce flawless work, they will be valued and accepted by others. However, this drive for perfection can lead to burnout, as they put excessive pressure on themselves to achieve unrealistic goals and standards.
When a perfectionist experiences burnout, they may use it as a way to validate their self-worth by telling themselves that their exhaustion and stress are proof that they are working hard and doing a good job. They may see burnout as a badge of honor or a sign that they are indispensable to their job or organization.
This belief can be harmful, as it reinforces the perfectionist's need to constantly push themselves to the limit, even when it is not healthy or sustainable. It can also prevent them from seeking help or support, as they may believe that admitting to feeling overwhelmed or struggling in any way is a sign of weakness.
To break this cycle, it is important for perfectionists to recognize that their self-worth is not tied to their productivity or the quality of their work. They can begin to practice self-compassion and self-care, and learn to set realistic goals and expectations for themselves. It may also be helpful to seek therapy or coaching to address the underlying beliefs and behaviors that contribute to perfectionism and burnout.
Here are six types of boundaries that individuals can set in different areas of their lives:
- Physical boundaries: These boundaries involve physical space and touch. Examples of physical boundaries include personal space, not allowing unwanted touch, and establishing limits around sexual activity.
- Emotional boundaries: These boundaries are related to emotions and feelings. Emotional boundaries involve understanding and respecting one's own feelings and the feelings of others, and not allowing others to manipulate or invalidate those feelings.
- Mental boundaries: These boundaries involve the mind and include setting limits on the amount of mental energy and focus given to certain tasks, as well as taking time for rest and relaxation.
- Time boundaries: These boundaries involve setting limits on how much time is spent on certain activities or commitments, and prioritizing activities that are most important and fulfilling.
- Social boundaries: These boundaries relate to social interactions and include setting limits on the number and type of social activities or events one participates in, as well as choosing relationships and friendships that are supportive and positive.
- Financial boundaries: These boundaries involve setting limits on spending and borrowing, and establishing financial goals and priorities. Financial boundaries can help individuals manage their money effectively and avoid financial stress and hardship.
People may struggle to set boundaries for a variety of reasons, including a fear of conflict, a desire to please others, low self-esteem, or a belief that they don't have the right to set boundaries. This can lead to a lack of self-care, feelings of resentment or burnout, and difficulties in personal and professional relationships.
To begin setting boundaries, it is important for individuals to first understand their own needs and values, and to recognize that setting boundaries is a healthy and necessary way to care for themselves and their relationships. Here are some steps they can take:
- Identify areas where boundaries are needed: This could include work tasks, relationships, or personal time.
- Be clear and specific: Clearly communicate what you need and what your boundaries are, using "I" statements and avoiding blaming or shaming language.
- Practice saying "no": Learning to say "no" can be challenging, but it is an important skill to develop. Saying "no" to a request or invitation does not make you a bad person or a bad employee.
- Stick to your boundaries: Consistently maintaining boundaries can be difficult, but it is important for building trust and creating healthier relationships.
- Seek support: Talk to trusted friends, family members, or professionals about your struggles with setting boundaries, and seek their support and guidance.
At work, individuals can set boundaries by establishing clear working hours, limiting the number of tasks they take on, and communicating with their supervisor about their workload and needs. At home, they can set boundaries by prioritizing personal time and self-care, communicating openly with family members or roommates about their needs, and setting limits on phone or computer use. Remember that setting boundaries takes practice, but with time and effort, it can lead to healthier relationships and greater well-being.
During times when boundary setting feels hard, it is important to understand how our nervous system responds to threats (either real or perceived).
The 4F trauma types refer to the four basic survival responses to traumatic events: fight, flight, freeze, and fawn. Understanding these trauma types can help with emotional regulation and boundary setting because they provide insight into how a person might react to stress or threat, and what their automatic response might be.
For example, a person who tends to "fight" in response to stress may be more prone to anger and aggression, while a person who "freezes" may have difficulty taking action and feel paralyzed by anxiety or fear. A person who "fawns" may tend to prioritize the needs and desires of others over their own, while a person who "flies" may avoid or run away from stressful situations.
By recognizing these automatic responses and understanding their root in trauma, individuals can begin to develop more effective coping strategies and learn to regulate their emotions and behaviors. They can also set boundaries that are appropriate for their needs and values, and communicate those boundaries in a way that is clear and assertive.
For example, a person who tends to "fight" may benefit from learning techniques for managing anger and expressing themselves in a calm and respectful manner. A person who "freezes" may benefit from developing a routine for self-care and practicing relaxation techniques. A person who "fawns" may benefit from learning to say "no" and prioritizing their own needs and desires, while a person who "flies" may benefit from practicing assertiveness and facing their fears.
Overall, understanding the 4F trauma types can help individuals develop greater self-awareness and build resilience in the face of stress and adversity.
A skill I like to teach my clients involves Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques, also known as Tapping. It is a holistic healing technique that combines acupressure with cognitive and exposure therapy to help release negative emotions and beliefs, and restore balance to the body's energy system. EFT is used to treat a variety of issues, including anxiety, stress, phobias, trauma, and chronic pain.
Here are the steps to teach EFT to beginners:
- Identify the issue: Begin by identifying the specific issue or emotion that you want to work on, such as anxiety, fear, or anger.
- Rate the intensity: Rate the intensity of the emotion or issue on a scale from 0-10, with 0 being no intensity and 10 being extreme intensity.
- Set up phrase: With your fingertips, tap the karate chop point on the side of your hand while repeating a "set up" phrase three times. The set up phrase is a statement that acknowledges the issue or emotion you want to address, and also includes an acceptance and self-affirmation statement, such as "Even though I feel anxious, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."
- Tapping sequence: Tap with your fingertips on specific points along your body's energy meridians, while repeating a reminder phrase that summarizes the issue or emotion. The tapping points include the eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, on the chin, collarbone, under the arm, and top of the head.
- Repeat: Repeat the tapping sequence two or three times while focusing on the emotion or issue.
- Rate the intensity again: Rate the intensity of the emotion or issue again on a scale from 0-10, and notice if there is a change in intensity.
- Continue tapping: If the intensity has not decreased to 0, continue tapping on the issue while repeating the tapping sequence and reminder phrase, until the intensity has reduced significantly.
- Positive affirmation: End the session with a positive affirmation, such as "I am calm and in control" or "I choose to let go of this fear."
EFT can be a powerful tool for beginners to learn and use for self-healing and stress relief. It is important to note that EFT should not replace professional therapy or medical treatment, and individuals with serious mental health conditions should consult with a qualified professional before using EFT.
It is my belief that Trauma-informed Social Emotional Learning (SEL) can address many of our core challenges that are a result of group think, unconscious biases and collective shadow projections that impact our ability to achieve Unity Consciousness. Everything is interconnected. Trauma-informed social emotional learning (SEL) is an approach to education that integrates trauma-informed practices with traditional social emotional learning strategies. I believe that mental and emotional wellness should be a daily integrative practice - just like working out and brushing your teeth. Most companies provide transactional education but fail to provide transformative integration. My approach is based on the recognition that many individuals have experienced trauma, and that trauma can impact a person’s social and emotional development, decision making abilities, as well as their ability to learn and develop deep connections. That’s why I created THE IMANI MVMT Resilience Planners.
Trauma-informed SEL involves creating a safe and supportive learning environment that is sensitive to the needs of individuals who have experienced trauma. This includes creating an atmosphere of trust and respect, providing opportunities for individuals to share their experiences and feelings, and offering supportive resources and services.
Some key components of trauma-informed SEL include:
1. Understanding the impact of trauma: All individuals are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma, and understand how trauma can affect a person’s social and emotional development.
2. Fostering a sense of safety: All individuals create a physically and emotionally safe learning environment where everyone feels supported and validated.
3. Promoting positive relationships: All individuals promote positive relationships with one another, and encourage one another to build strong connections with their peers and leaders.
4. Building resilience: All individuals build resilience by providing collective opportunities to develop coping skills and strategies for managing stress and trauma.
5. Encouraging responsible decision-making: All individuals develop responsible decision-making skills by learning to consider the consequences of their actions and make choices that promote positive outcomes.
Trauma-informed SEL can have a positive impact on individuals, institutions and entire communities that have experienced trauma by promoting healing, resilience, and academic success. By integrating trauma-informed practices with social emotional learning strategies, individuals and institutions can create a supportive and empowering learning environment that benefits all.
It’s how we can heal the collective, one individual at a time.
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