Holiday Boundaries, and How To Set Them

As the holiday season rolls around, many of us might feel a sense of deeper anxiety settling in. Often, this is a time where family and friends gather, but this doesn't always create a safe and comfortable space for everyone. Politics, opinions, and cultural/ generational differences become heightened, and this can be difficult or even scary to navigate. It is so important that before we find ourselves in a difficult situation with family or otherwise, that we take time to check in with our boundaries and what we will and won’t be accepting this holiday season. 

Read on as I share 3 tips for creating your own safe space this season: 

  1. Get clear on  what you will and won’t be tolerating this year. If you know that your family members are going to be bugging you with personal questions that make you uncomfortable, then decide now if that’s something you’re willing to let slide. I want you to know that you don’t owe anyone anything, and that your personal information is your right to keep private. Feel strong behind the boundaries you set now, whether they are personal, political, or cultural, and know that boundaries are how we show ourselves love, support, and protection. If you’ve never upheld boundaries with your family or friends before, then they might take this slightly harder. Do not let that deter or sway you from standing behind the self protections you’ve implemented. Setting boundaries takes practice, but the result is so worthwhile! 
  2. Once you are clear on what boundaries you will be setting, and upholding this season, begin practicing phrases and gestures that you can use when the moment arises. For example, if you are worried that a relation will ask you yet again if you are dating someone, then you can practice scripting an appropriate response that protects your privacy such as, “that’s a really personal question, and honestly, I’m not comfortable sharing right now and I ask that you respect that.” Usually, this will put an end to the conversation. Try to create at least one boundary phrase per boundary and have them written down or memorized so that you can easily access this resource.
  3. Engage in regular self care! By practicing regular self care this season, you will ensure that you feel nourished, supported, and strong. It is so important that you feel connected to your power and your own sense of self love, so that you can enter into potentially challenging situations while feeling grounded, self assured, and clear on your intentions. Try making a self care list of simple activities that you can turn to when you need a moment of nourishment. I recommend having activities that range from 5 minutes to an hour, so that there is always something accessible for you. Remember that it is up to you to build a positive self care habit, and doing so will bring great benefits and relief. 

It is my hope for you that the holidays will be a time of low stress, ease, and peace. However, if they are not, turn towards these simple tips and stand strong in your power this season!