𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬-𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐞
It would be nice to handle the holiday season smoothly, without feeling stressed, annoyed and overwhelmed even before it started. . . Here are some tips to navigate it and stay sane! . . 𝟏 - 𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧. Take some time to think about your emotional, physical, spiritual and social needs, and keep them in mind when evaluating whether or not you can commit to an engagement. . Setting boundaries is a courageous act of putting ourselves first. It’s a great way to break the people-pleasing habit and practice self-care. . . 𝟐- 𝐂𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐬. While it’s tempting to make excuses in an attempt to spare feelings, if you’re not truthful and direct, you’ll risk to create more unnecessary hurt and stress. Keep it simple, stick to the facts and practise delivering your message. . If you need time before agreeing or not to an invitation, try saying *𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑘 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑖𝑛𝑣𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛, 𝐼 𝑎𝑚 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑖𝑓 𝐼 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑗𝑜𝑖𝑛 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝐼 𝑐ℎ𝑒𝑐𝑘 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑙𝑒𝑡 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤* . . 𝟑- 𝐬𝐞𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦. It's okay to need time alone or decide to only join a part of the family celebrations if that's what you need at that moment, despite what everyone else thinks. There is no shame in asking for your feelings to be acknowledged or your needs to be met . . 𝟒- 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐩 𝐝𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨. Difficult honesty is not unkindness. It’s not mean to stand up for yourself. It’s actually the most truthful and authentic way to interact with others. . . 𝟓- 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. Let the other know that you still value time with them, even if in a different setting . “𝐼 𝑎𝑚 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑔𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑝𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑖𝑛 [𝑎𝑑𝑑 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑡]. 𝐼 𝑤𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑣𝑒 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑎 𝑑𝑎𝑦 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑑 𝑡𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟, 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑡𝑤𝑜 𝑜𝑓 𝑢𝑠. 𝐶𝑎𝑛 𝑤𝑒 𝑜𝑟𝑔𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑧𝑒 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔?”
.“𝐼 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑎𝑙𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑟𝑒𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑔𝑒. 𝑇ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑠𝑎𝑖𝑑, 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑖𝑠 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑚𝑒 𝑎𝑠 𝑤𝑒𝑙𝑙. 𝐶𝑎𝑛 𝑤𝑒 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘 𝑡𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑡𝑜 𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑑 𝑎 𝑏𝑎𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑏𝑜𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑢𝑠?” . . 𝟔- 𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞. There is a lot of unspoken expectations around the time of Christmas. Presents, time spent with family, time spent with friends, number of activities done, number of dinners. Things that you have probably known and done since you are a kid because that's just how it is. You can take a moment and revisit them, which one of those you want to maintain and how you want to change the others. . . It's perfectly okay to not be okay with some dynamics that have been going on for years and years. . . Setting boundaries can be a loving, compassionate, and kind gesture as well. It takes a great deal of courage to speak up and alter old ways of relating to others, especially in your family. . Every time you set a boundary, you bring your outer world into alignment with your inner needs. . . Which one would you like to focus on this holiday season?