The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time. But in the blink of an eye, holiday dysfunction can come along and crash the party. Everyone does not have good intentions when it comes to spreading love and joy, but you do not have to let their negativity rub off on you. Knowing how to set healthy boundaries during the holidays can help you protect your peace and enjoy your holidays.
Setting boundaries can be challenging if this is something other than what you generally do. But setting healthy boundaries can make a big difference in the outcome of your holiday season.
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Why is setting boundaries important?
Setting boundaries is a way of taking care of yourself. It is a way to maintain your physical and mental health. Forbes.com contributor Sahar Andrade says personal boundaries are necessary for healthy interpersonal and professional relationships.
Here are some important reasons to set boundaries:
- It sets the expectation for how you wish to be treated.
- It lets everyone know what is and what is not acceptable.
- It helps you avoid feelings of anger and resentment.
- It helps you practice and maintain self care.
How do you set boundaries during the holidays?
Being around family during the holidays is fun. You get to see people you probably have not seen in a while and are likely spending way more time than usual with people. This leaves room for error regarding feelings, personal space, awkward conversations, and other things.
That’s why it’s especially important to set boundaries. If you need help putting some healthy boundaries in place, here are some simple steps:
In a perfect world, everyone would approach the holidays with a positive attitude. However, that’s not always the case. Be ready for negativity and bad attitudes. No matter how hard you try, you cannot please everyone. In fact, some people will find the negative in every situation, no matter how great things are going.
Develop a plan.
Think of various scenarios that you might encounter during the holidays and have a plan in place for how you will deal with them. Being proactive is important so that you are not faced with making decisions in the middle of your frustration and anger.
Stick to the plan.
It is not enough to simply have a plan. You have to stick to the plan when you are faced with an issue. People are going to test your boundaries, so it is up to you to make sure that you stick to the plan that you have created. It can be challenging, but you will get better with practice. Be intentional about sticking to the boundaries you have set for yourself.
What are some examples of healthy boundaries for the holidays?
Here are some examples of healthy boundaries for the holidays
- Refuse to gossip about other family members and their situations
- Decline any invitations you do not want to attend without explanation or guilt.
- Communicate when a conversation makes you uncomfortable.
- Do not allow others to dictate your time or money.
- Refuse to allow negative energy in your space.
- Determine what you will and will not do for others.
- Stick to your budget without explanation or guilt.
- Get rest when you are tired and be unapologetic about it.
- Be willing to walk away from events where you don’t feel comfortable, even if it is a family event.
- Do what you need to do to protect your physical and mental health.
Setting boundaries for the holidays can help you to have a joyous time with your family and friends. Be intentional about setting and adhering to the boundaries that you set for yourself.