It’s the most beautiful time of the year. Everyone’s rejoicing with their friends and families without a care in the world…or are they? For many people, the holiday season is a season of dread.
In addition to dealing with a pandemic, people now have to face difficult relatives or grapple with the loss of loved ones. No matter what your situation may be, healthy boundaries can help you navigate this season without feeling too overwhelmed.
What are Healthy Boundaries?
It’s important to know your limits. Strangers aren’t the only people capable of making you feel uncomfortable. Friends and family members can push your buttons as well. Healthy boundaries protect your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Creating healthy boundaries with people in your life helps you avoid negative interactions that can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. It might seem difficult to set healthy boundaries at first, but it becomes easier with practice.
You deserve healthy relationships that don’t come at the expense of your mental health – even during the holiday season! You’re not going to ruin someone’s Christmas because you want to protect your well-being.
How to Set Healthy Boundaries and Get Through This Holiday Season in Peace
Before you start worrying about marinating the turkey, you have to take care of yourself. Read through the following tips to help you get through the holidays in a healthy and effective way!
1. Know Your Limits
It’s important to know what you’re willing to deal with during the holidays. If Aunt Polly always intrudes your space and talks your ear off, do you really wanna spend all day at her house?
Set boundaries and let your family know you can’t stay long, but you’ll stay long enough to enjoy dinner.
2. Have an Exit Strategy
When things get heated or uncomfortable, it’s never a bad idea to remove yourself from the situation. Having a plan of action in case something goes wrong can add structure and peace of mind during a time where anything could happen.
If someone has a little too much to drink and begins blabbering senselessly, you are more than welcome to leave the festivities early.
3. Don’t Resort to Familiar Tactics
A lot of people haven’t seen their family members for a while due to pandemic restrictions. It’s understandable that you might feel tempted to slip into old, unhealthy behaviors during the holidays.
Real-life interactions are extremely different from virtual interactions. Stick to your healthy behaviors instead of retaliating or acting irrationally.
4. Remember What’s Important
Someone in your family may unintentionally say or do something that crosses the line. This doesn’t make them a bad person. It’s hard to know what kind of jokes or actions are inappropriate when you only see someone once or twice a year.
Remind yourself that they’re only human and probably feel as awkward as you do when these situations arise – even if they don’t outwardly show how they feel. Setting healthy boundaries instead of allowing them to continue their antics will help them understand how to behave around you in the future.
For more tips to help you get through the holidays without pulling out your hair, here are a few of the best self-care strategies you can do to overcome difficult moments – and they’re all free!