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Implementing Healthy Boundaries During the Holidays and Beyond

What are Healthy Boundaries?

Healthy Boundaries are the limits you decide work for you on how people can treat you, how they can behave around you, and what they can expect from you.

The holidays are a season where there is immense pressure to say 'Yes' to a flurry of things. Say 'yes' to Holiday parties, say 'yes' to gift exchanges, say 'yes' to extended stays out of town to see family and friends. While many of these things make this a particular time of year, there can also be some instances where we say 'yes' when we want to say 'no'. Saying yes too much is not exclusive to the holidays. Speaking no will help you slow down because you will be spending your time doing what you want to do. Be real, not rude. You can say no in a loving way.

What does NOT setting Healthy Boundaries look like during the Holidays?

· You are fatigued continuously doing things for others and their plan, leaving you little time to do what you want or need for yourself.

· You are a people pleaser and say yes, all the time so you won't let others down.

· Relationships in your life are complicated, dramatic, or not equal in energy (i.e., you are putting in more than you are receiving) You have put yourself last with your health, time, and needs.

Why do we do this?

It is the mindset that if we don't say 'yes' then we won't be accepted. This is a time of giving, and if we don't say 'yes', then we are letting people down in our life. If we don't buy the perfect gift or attend all of the parties, our friends and family will think we don't appreciate them.

It is also the mindset that if we commit ourselves to others, we won't need to think about our feelings, needs, and experiences. The holidays can bring up some overwhelming and even painful emotions from our pasts that can be pretty difficult. But those feelings won't dissolve into the "busyness" of caring for others. While being around our loved ones can help us work through some of our pain and trauma, we need to set healthy boundaries to ensure our needs and feelings are met.


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