I was delighted in early February when a physician said to our group in The Provider Lounge, “It’s really working. At first, I didn’t think I could do it. And now, I’ve realized, if I want to be present with other people’s children, I have to have time with my own family.” This was a new physician in our group. We’d discussed boundaries as a theme in January. I could see nervous shifts in seats and eyes averting as I discussed the importance of boundaries.
You see, boundaries don’t have to be cruel or catastrophic. They’re not meant to exclude others or terminate relationships with people or systems. In fact, the contrary is true. Boundaries are a way of saying, “I want to be in a relationship with you. This is how. This is what’s ok and what’s not ok.”
Here’s a little exercise for you:
- Think about a tough patient or a frustrating aspect of your organization – I’m sure this won’t take long.
- Now think about what feels off, disrespectful, or frustrating for you.
- Make a list with two columns – one side titled “This is what is ok” and the other one titled “This is what’s not ok.” If you want the cheater version, I made you one here.
- How might you communicate this to your patient? Clinic manager? Partners or other stakeholders?
Here’s what another physician told me when she started setting boundaries by asking to limit double bookings near her lunch hour. “I think I was labeled ‘the difficult one’ for a while because it made scheduling a little tougher. But after a while, they figured it out and I was so much happier because I had time to eat lunch, catch up, and get energized for the afternoon.” Oh my, can you feel the shift? Indeed, this is an important act of self-care to prevent burnout.
Here are three takeaways for today:
- Download the script and worksheet for creating boundaries.
- Share these incredible tools with two other co-workers who could use it.
- Mark off time on your calendar for April 28-29th and join me for a spring mini-retreat!
- It’s two days full of practical tools to enhance relational health for pediatric patients and their families – it will transform your practice.
- You’ll be licensed in Cards for Connection© and have access to Provider Lounge for 6 months of support! That’s also 6 CME!
- You’ll enjoy yoga, great food and great company.
Tell me your success story – or failure – at creating boundaries. I want to know!
Take care and know that I appreciate you!