Are You Overly Accessible?

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a remote cabin in the woods symbolizing not being overly accessible
 
 
When was the last time you thought to yourself, “Man, I just want to go live in a cabin in the woods away from everyone”? If you’re anything like me, it’s a recurrent daily thoght. When I try to figure out where this feeling comes from, I can always trace it back to one thing:
 
 
I am always accessible.
Always available.
Willing to help day or night.
Reading emails in bed.
Keeping up with the group texts.
Prepping for tomorrow before today ends.
My point of contact never farther than an arm’s reach away.
 
 
I am never truly alone or without responsibility. Last week, I was away from my office for about an hour and had accidentally left my phone behind and was shocked at how nervous it made me. What if something happened while I wasn’t reachable? What if I got bored? What if I wanted to take a picture of my lunch? Limiting my accessibility is a new goal of mine. I’d like to share with you some strategies you can implement to set boundaries.
 
 
  • Start using social media time limits. Thinking of it like 1990s nostalgia when I only got 30 minutes on the dial-up internet.
  • Add your working hours to your work email signature to set expectations of availability.
  • Set group messages or other appropriate texts on “do not disturb” after working hours.
  • When at home, keep your phone in a set location instead of carrying it on your person.
  • “Call if you need me” basis for urgent and more pressing matters. For me, the threshold for a phone call seems higher than texting.
  • Put your phone in another room on the charger at a set time in the evening.
  • Set your phone away from your side of the bed to avoid scrolling if you wake up at night. This is especially hard for me as I’m up throughout the night breastfeeding.
  • Politely pass on scheduled events at your discretion.
 
a cell phone on a table with AirPods on top of it
 
 
Always being on, expected to be productive, always available – it causes burnout and exhaustion. Setting boundaries is a necessary part of a healthy relationship with work and others, not just coworkers. Stop feeling obligated or pressured. If you don’t want plans on your only day off, don’t make them. And if you’ve given yourself permission to be unscheduled, don’t spend that time feeling guilty. Take back charge of your time – even if it is to do nothing!
 
 

What are some ways you plan on setting boundaries on your accessibility?

 
 
 
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Mandi is originally from a small town and moved to Saint Louis in 2015 for a new job and new love. She has lived in a few areas of Saint Louis including the Central West End/De Baliviere and Lindenwood Park areas but has found a place to call home in Webster Groves. She has been married to her husband Seth since 2017 and they had their first son, Walter in March 2020. She is being inducted into the “two under two” club in January 2022! Mandi works full time as a Nurse Practitioner. When she is not working, you can find her park hopping and trying to wrangle her son, brainstorming freezer meal ideas, mourning the loss of “The Office” from Netflix, or at Katie’s Pizza and Pasta in Rock Hill. Mandi is passionate about making Motherhood feel less lonely and encouraging community through vulnerability.

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