The holiday season is a time of joy and togetherness for many. However, spending so much time with family and friends and dealing with the emotions of the holidays can be stressful for some. Setting boundaries is the best way to protect your mental health this holiday season. However, many people do not know what healthy boundaries are and do not know how to share them with others. Today, we’ll look at some ways to set your boundaries and share them with family.
Communicate your needs.
Start by having an open and honest conversation with your family. Let them know what you need to feel comfortable and enjoy the holidays. Be clear about your boundaries and tell them why they are important.
Make time for self-care.
It’s important that you take time to care for yourself during the holidays. Make time to recharge your social and emotional batteries. This can mean taking breaks from socializing or setting time aside for activities that help you relax and de-stress.
Be assertive but not aggressive.
When talking about your boundaries with family, make sure you stand your ground and remind them how important it is for them to respect your boundaries. It’s easy to be defensive and aggressive, especially when someone is not listening or respecting you, but it’s important to remember that your boundaries are about your needs and not about criticizing or arguing with others.
Plan ahead and set your limits.
If possible, plan your holiday activities in advance. Choose which events or gatherings you will attend and set limits on the amount of time you will spend at each. This can help you manage your energy and commitments to each family member more effectively.
Have an exit plan.
It is easy to start feeling overwhelmed at social gatherings, especially with family members you do not see all the time. Before entering an event or gathering, set a plan on how you can leave without being rude. Let a close and trusted family know that you might have to leave early, and make sure to set up a ride if needed.
If you are struggling to set boundaries, seeking support from a friend or a behavioral or mental health professional may help. They can provide guidance and a safe space for you to discuss your feelings and work out a plan to communicate your boundaries with loved ones.
Setting boundaries during the holiday season can be an important part of keeping your mental well-being healthy. Communication, self-care, assertiveness and planning are all great ways to create balance in your busy holiday schedule and help you make the most of the season!