Holidays can be hard-Especially this year. Because of the ongoing pandemic, rethinking plans and changing expectations will certainly be part of the holiday planning process this holiday season- Adding more anguish to what can feel like an already stressful time of year. You may be feeling guilty or like you’re letting people down when saying no, staying in or in trying to make alternative plans, but in order to maintain balance, mental wellness and self-care, setting boundaries is a non-negotiable, especially right now. Below are a few tips to help you check in with yourself, honor your needs, manage disappointment and set important boundaries over the next several weeks:
Assess What You’re Comfortable With
Before saying yes, ask yourself how meaningful it is to you. How comfortable are you with this? What emotion or intention is driving your decision? Is this something that you really want or is it something that someone else wants for you?
Set Clear Boundaries That Are Free Of Shaming Or Blaming
Speaking up for yourself is both empowering and important. Using calm, direct, and respectful language can be helpful in getting your message across as well as in protecting your own mental and physical energy.
Maintain Routines (but allow for some flexibility)
Maintaining routines is a form of setting a boundary with yourself. Although you may not be able to stick to your routines completely, if you can stay in the mindset of making an effort it may be easier to go back to them after the holidays are over. Ask yourself: “What I can keep up with AND what will make me feel good during this time?”
Rather than focusing on expectations or tasks, focus on the meaning of the holidays. What do the holidays mean to you? This can help us practice gratitude and focus on the big picture. What do you have right now? What are you grateful for?
You can practice forms of mindfulness by taking time to breathe deeply, ground yourself in the present moment instead of past/future thinking, and scanning the body for tension. If you need a little bit of guidance, you can try various apps like Headspace or Calm for guided meditation or visit our IGTV for a variety of guided meditations, visualizations and breathing techniques. For grounding practices, you can click here.