The holiday season can be a challenging time for everyone. Your schedule is often much busier than the rest of the year, filled with an influx of holiday parties, family events, and hometown reunions. Add in expectations to see family and spend a ton on gifts, and it can feel like you’re at the mercy of the season.
It doesn’t have to be that way. By setting and enforcing healthy boundaries for yourself, you can protect your health and continue healing during the holidays.
Understanding & Setting Personal Boundaries
The first step to setting healthy boundaries is understanding your limits. If you’re not used to setting personal boundaries, it can be hard to know where to begin. A whopping 88% of Americans feel increased stress during the holiday season, so you aren’t alone in your feelings. Start by thinking ahead to the upcoming holiday plans. Consider your worries — what about the season stresses you out the most?
Once you’ve identified your worries you can begin setting healthy boundaries to improve your upcoming experiences.
Create a plan for how you can self-regulate your emotions when you’re feeling overwhelmed. You may use techniques that work for you, such as using the 54321 method or a sensory jar to regulate breathing and center your thoughts.
If you aren’t exactly sure which boundaries you’d like to set, it’s ok to go into the holidays with an open mind. Remember your self-regulation techniques and leverage them when you need assistance regaining your peace. A clear state of mind will give you the space needed to learn more about yourself.
Creating Boundaries for Yourself Comes in Many Forms
Setting personal boundaries doesn’t have to be intimidating this holiday season. We’ve broken it down into three steps.
Create a List of Boundaries
To know your boundaries is to understand your triggers. Spend time discovering what may overwhelm you in certain social situations.
Don’t want to field questions about your recent breakup? Have a different topic in your back pocket to shift the conversation. Or, simply say, "I'd rather not talk about them," depending on what you’re comfortable with.
Affirm Your Self-Care
Positive affirmations have been shown to improve the user’s mood and health. Affirm your self-care daily by creating and placing your affirmations in a place you highly frequent (your bathroom mirror, hang in your car, or near your front door).
Affirmations can be a great way to start your day and are especially helpful when you have to implement your boundaries. Use the Affirmation Deck Kit to create affirmations around your health and healing, then use them for daily positive self-talk or during those quick moments of quiet time.
Cleanse Your Space
Whether you’re hosting guests or not, using a Cleanse Kit is a powerful way to ground yourself in your space and ward off negative energy. There are many benefits to burning sage, such as clearing unwanted energies, offering strength, clarity, wisdom, and more. Consider conducting a smudging ritual before and after your holiday festivities.
Continue Your Journey Toward Health & Healing this Holiday Season
The holidays don’t have to be a chaotic and stressful time. By understanding your limits, and communicating them with those you’re celebrating with, you can show up as your genuine self, protect your peace, and continue your healing journey.
Moving into the colder months, it can be easy to feel bitter toward the isolation and loneliness we may feel. Instead, view winter as a time to turn inward, for reflection. As the year winds down, we’re entering a period of descent and rest. Focus on digging within oneself to reflect on all that has occurred and to find peace.
Brush Box is an immersive art company founded to support healing through art. The goal of Brush Box is to bring a sense of community to any environment using the process of creating art to navigate emotions and our place in the world. We believe everyone is creative and taking time to channel that creativity can be transformative. Shop all of our kits on our website or reach out if you’re interested in a facilitated event.
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