There can be so much pressure during the holidays to do things and go places that may not necessarily fit into your vision. Sometimes, it seems like everyone has an idea of how they want you to spend your time, money, and energy for the holiday season. Instead of getting frustrated or overwhelmed, how about setting boundaries? Today I’m sharing seven simple tips for setting boundaries for your family during the holidays.
No matter how much pressure you have from other people, you must remember this: you decide what’s best for your family. You deserve to make those choices without feeling guilty. It might feel a bit uncomfortable, but setting boundaries can help you assert yourself without too much fallout.
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How do you set healthy boundaries during the holidays?
If you’re new to setting boundaries, it can seem like a difficult concept. So, I want to provide a few tips to help you get started. The key to setting boundaries is to remember that setting the boundary is about protecting yourself, not hurting others. The main for setting holiday boundaries is to navigate the holidays without too much added stress, overwhelm, and guilt.
The Family Centre says that setting strong boundaries is the key to making your holidays more exciting and keeping your emotions in check.
Here are seven tips to help you set boundaries for the holidays:
1. Get confident about what’s best for your family.
The first thing you need to do when it comes to setting boundaries is to get clear about what’s best for your family. When you are clear about what you want and need, it’s easier to be confident about it. For example, if you have a new baby, a family pet or if your budget doesn’t allow it, does it make sense for you to travel for the holidays?
Don’t overwhelm yourself by making decisions that will put too much stress on your family. And don’t let anyone guilt you into doing something that’s not in your family’s best interest. The holidays are only for a short period of time. Don’t make a decision right now that will negatively affect your household for several to come.
2. Get on the same page with your partner.
If you have a partner, the holidays might bring about some anxiety and awkwardness in regard to where and how you’ll spend your time. You can alleviate some confusion by getting on the same page with your partner.
Work with your partner to develop a plan for how you spend the holidays so there’s no guessing about which events you will attend and/or who you will invite to your home. Being proactive is always a great idea, especially regarding holiday planning.
3. Communicate clearly and early.
Once you’ve decided what’s best for your family, communicate with key people as soon as you can. Don’t wait until the last minute. Waiting may interfere with other people’s plans and could possibly cause hard feelings.
Go ahead and communicate your plans with the people who need to know, so there’s no confusion about what your family is doing for the holiday season.
4. Know your limits
We love to show the world we can be Superwoman, don’t we? But the holiday season is magical enough without us trying to pull off scheduling shenanigans. As much as you’d like to please everyone this holiday season, the fact of the matter is you simply can’t.
Don’t stress yourself out by trying to do all the things. Know your limits and stay in your lane.
5. Offer an explanation and let it go.
Communication is key. It might be important for you to clarify why you are choosing whatever it is for your family’s holiday. Make sure to explain with confidence and then let it go. Not everyone will understand your plan or endorse it, but they will respect it if you set healthy limits and refuse to negotiate.
6. Be prepared for the pushback.
Everyone will not like that you’re not going to want to do exactly what they want you to do for the holidays. Go ahead and be prepared for the pushback. The key is not to be disrespectful but rather to be confident and firm in the decisions that you’ve made for your family.
Think of some simple and direct statements that you can use if someone challenges your decisions or continues to try to convince you to do something when you’ve already communicated your holiday plans.
7. Refuse to feel bad about what’s best for your family.
One thing you need to remember is you can’t please everyone. Some people are unable or unwilling to give others the grace and freedom to do what’s best for them. More than likely, someone is going to be upset about your holiday plans and that’s okay.
There’s only so much that you can do. You should not be guilted into doing anything that you don’t feel is in your family’s best interest. Make your decision, communicate it, and let it go. Don’t spend time trying to explain to someone why you made the decisions that you’ve made.
Setting boundaries for your family this holiday season will help reduce stress and overwhelm. It might ruffle some feathers, but it’s important that you put your family first without feeling guilty. People who truly love you should understand and should be willing to be flexible and respect your decision. Enjoy the holidays without feeling the stress and pressure of trying to do all the things. It’s unrealistic and impossible and leaves you feeling drained.
Get ready to make some holiday memories that will last for years to come!