Tips for Healthy Boundaries during the Holiday Season

The holidays can be a stressful time for many of us as the season elicits mixed emotions, memories, and demands more of our time and energy with family and traditions. For some, who may have lost a loved one, or are living far from their family, or out of their traditional culture; can experience sadness, anxiety, and a sense of loneliness. While some of us may be out shopping for gifts and food for Holiday gatherings, others including our co-workers may be alone and dreading another holiday without their loved ones. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you may fall into, it is important to be mindful of physical, emotional, and psychological boundaries during the holiday season to maintain wellness.

Here are 4 ways to communicate your boundaries by using the skill G.I.V.E.

G.entle and genuine: Be honest with yourself as to how much you can manage on your plate. Use a gentle and genuine tone of voice when saying “no” to others if you feel overwhelmed or stressed-out.

i.nterested: Show you care for others during the holidays by showing interest in what is going on in their lives. Use eye contact and try not to look at your cellular phone when interacting with friends, family, co-workers, and especially small children. This is a wonderful way to model boundaries and effective listening. Sometimes, giving another person your undivided attention is an act of giving during the holidays.

V.alidate your feelings: Self-validation is the non-judgmental acknowledgement of your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and experience. Validating your feelings doesn’t mean you have to react right away. Remind yourself that it is human to feel things and emotions are not always easy to understand.

E.asy going manner: Remember the idiom “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Maintaining an easy going manner means treating others with kindness, respect, and a relaxed attitude. Be polite when communicating your boundaries with others and remember to take it easy with judgments, opinions, and viewpoints. Allow space for yourself and others.

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