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Is your workload overwhelming you? These 8 motivating quotes will help you set better boundaries

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Anna Brech
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A woman at work

Dreading the return to work? Here’s how to push back on an avalanche of demands, with insight from self-help authors and therapists.

Workplace stress has soared over the past two years in Britain, with the pandemic aggravating problems such as overtime, presenteeism and job insecurity. 

The situation isn’t getting any better, either. As the government warns that a quarter of staff may be off work in the coming weeks due to rising Covid rates, employees left unscathed by the Omicron wave will find themselves shouldering an extra burden. 

Between New Year deadlines and depleted teams, many of us will be grappling with a workload that feels undoable – especially with the drama of a global health crisis playing out on the side lines.

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When the going gets tough in this way, it can be hard to say no to extra demands. You may feel churlish not to go “that extra mile” or “pull your weight” with additional tasks and to-dos. Depending on your job (e.g. health care), saying no may not even be an option. 

However, if you can, setting boundaries at work is a really useful skill to learn. More than that, it’s crucial to preserve your health and avoid the growing risk of burnout we face in an always-on culture. The difficulty comes in trying to construct those barriers, and safeguard your wellbeing, by saying “no” to your colleagues or boss – not just once, but every time you need to. 

For anyone struggling to protect their time at work, here are eight motivational quotes from therapists, life coaches and thought leaders on Instagram that will help you do exactly that. Together, these insights help pave the way forward to a less stressed, less frenetic New Year.

Be your first priority

Stop saying yes to everyone

Avoid the impulse to people-please

Decide where your boundaries lie

Be wary of perfectionism

Know that you are firm, not rude

Slow down when you need to

Remember, you’re allowed to disappoint people

Images: Getty, Instagram

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.