As we are getting close to the start of the holiday season our boundaries can change. In a families hierarchy, sometimes it can feel like we revert back to the teenage version of ourselves rather than the adults we have become. This can cause a lot of added stress and anxiety over the holiday season. To keep a healthy balance between family and self care time, try to remember to:
1. Set time aside for yourself. Whether that is a bubble bath, reading a book, taking a walk, or 5 minutes alone to breathe- time alone is still important! Think about how to add that into your schedule during a busy holiday season.
2. Verbalize Your Boundaries. Sometimes since we are coming together with people we may not see every day anymore, our boundaries may not be well known. Make sure to verbalize what you need. Some examples are, “Actually I would prefer not to talk about that right now,” “I am so excited to see you, could we schedule time later to catch up?”, “I’m going to step away for a moment”.
3. Make a Game Plan. Whether you are visiting people alone, with your partner, or bringing a whole family, it is important to talk about your "game plan" before you enter the holiday season. Maybe this "game plan" is talking about healthy physical boundaries, setting intentional time to decompress, deciding on ways to manage your time to see the people you want to see, or even a “safe word” for when you want to communicate something specific to your game plan crew. This can be helpful in understanding how to support each other in a busy and heightened time.
Holidays can be lovely, but also stressful or triggering — and that is 100% okay! Building this support for yourself can allow you to feel emotionally protected while you are going through this holiday season. If you are hoping for more than a few pre-holiday tips contact me at Koger Counseling or search for a therapist near you.