Reduce Holiday Stress By Setting Boundaries
As the holidays quickly approach, we invite you to reflect on your needs and boundaries ahead of time so you can experience peace and joy during this special time. The best gift we can give ourselves and others this year is empathy.
Make Extra Time For Rest
Interacting with others (even on Zoom!) can take a lot out of us. It requires energy to goof around with loved ones or to tune in for meaningful conversation. Make time to relax, practice self-care regularly, and be careful not to overcommit yourself.
Decide Your Limits Ahead of Time
Figure out your comfort zone when it comes to COVID safety, holiday spending, and time commitments. Set realistic expectations and determine things like your budget and schedule so you don't feel stretched too thin.
Communicate With Loved Ones In Advance
It's ok not to go home for the holidays. Just because someone is family, doesn't mean it's ok for them to make you feel uncomfortable. A 'heads up' approach can lay the groundwork for your needs to be met, and inform others of how they can be supportive.This can look like:
sharing your personal safety preferences (re: COVID)
sharing your dietary or alcohol parameters
setting up expectations around your participation in family interactions
asking for accommodations that will make a difference in your ability to participate in gatherings with comfort and ease
Sometimes, communicating your needs directly can feel challenging. Keep in mind that speaking up or acting for yourself is not selfish. YOU will always be the one who best understands your needs - trust and support yourself in making and maintaining boundaries.
And you can change your mind! Keep in touch with how you're feeling and let yourself evolve as needed.