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  • Writer's pictureDezerrae Sanchez

Let's Practice Boundaries Before the Holidays

Understanding and incorporating boundaries during the holiday season is a crucial aspect of maintaining mental and emotional well-being. Boundaries are the invisible lines we draw to define our limits, and they play a vital role in fostering healthy relationships and self-care.

During the holidays, expectations and obligations can skyrocket, leading to stress and overwhelm. Recognizing the need for boundaries involves understanding one's limits and communicating them effectively. It's about striking a balance between festive engagements and personal well-being.

Defining Boundaries:

Boundaries are the emotional and physical limits we establish to protect ourselves from being overwhelmed or depleted. They are not about building walls but rather creating a space where individuals can maintain a sense of autonomy and self-respect. Boundaries can encompass various aspects, such as time, personal space, and emotional energy.

Identifying Personal Needs:

Understanding what one needs during the holidays is crucial. It could be a quiet evening alone, quality time with close family, or even setting aside time for self-care activities. By identifying these needs, individuals can establish boundaries that align with their well-being. Your needs do not have to look like any one else's needs.

Communicating Boundaries

Effectively communicating boundaries is an art that involves clarity and assertiveness. Diplomatically expressing one's limits can prevent misunderstandings and reduce the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed. It's essential to communicate expectations with family and friends, explaining the importance of self-care and balance.

For example, saying, "I appreciate the invitation, but I need some downtime for myself this holiday season. I hope you understand," sets a clear boundary while maintaining respect for the relationship. When in doubt, "No." is a complete sentence. It is ok if they don't agree or can't understand your reasoning. You do not have to make anyone else understand your needs. That is outside of your control.

Setting Time Limits:

The holiday season often comes with a barrage of social events and gatherings. Setting time limits for these engagements can help prevent burnout. Whether it's limiting the duration of a party or scheduling breaks between events, this practice ensures that individuals have the time they need for rest and recuperation.

Prioritizing Self-Care:

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, self-care tends to take a back seat. Establishing boundaries around self-care is crucial for maintaining emotional balance. This might involve carving out time for activities that bring joy and relaxation, such as reading, taking a walk, or enjoying a quiet cup of tea.

Flexibility and Adaptation:

While boundaries are essential, it's equally important to be flexible and open to adaptation. Circumstances may change, and unexpected events may arise. Being open to adjusting boundaries when necessary allows for a more realistic and compassionate approach to the holiday season.

Incorporating boundaries during the holidays is not a selfish act but a form of self-preservation. It enables individuals to navigate the festivities with a greater sense of control, reducing stress and fostering a more enjoyable experience. By understanding, communicating, and prioritizing personal needs, individuals can create a holiday season that aligns with their well-being and values. Remember, it's okay to say no, prioritize self-care, and celebrate the holidays in a way that feels authentic and fulfilling.

What is one holiday boundary you would like to establish this year?

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