When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.Brené Brown
The holiday season is a time for family, friends, and loved ones. And it’s known for being a time for celebrations and traditions. But it can also be a time of stress and tension. If you’re not careful, the holidays can quickly become a minefield of difficult personalities and stressful situations. That’s why it’s so important to establish personal boundaries and learn how to handle difficult personalities before the holiday season gets underway.
Here are a few tips to help you manage stress and set healthy boundaries during the holidays:
What are Personal Boundaries?
Personal boundaries are the limits we set for ourselves in order to feel safe and comfortable in our relationships with others. We all have different comfort levels when it comes to physical space, emotional intimacy, and sharing personal information. It is important to be aware of our own personal boundaries and to respect the boundaries of others.
How to Set Personal Boundaries
There is no “right” way to set personal boundaries. What works for someone else might not work for you. It is important to be clear and direct when communicating your needs to others. We can use “I” statements to assert what we need without placing blame on anyone else. For example, “I need some time alone” or “I would appreciate you listening to me without interrupting me.” Keep in mind that it is okay to change your mind about what you are comfortable with at any given situation.
It is also important to be mindful of how our words and actions might be perceived by others. If we say one thing but our body language says something different, people will likely believe our nonverbal cues over our words. For example, if you want someone to back off physically, you might say “no” while simultaneously moving away from them.
Dealing with Difficult Personalities
The holidays are a time when we are often around people who we don’t see very often or who we don’t get along with very well. We might feel obligated to spend time with them because they are family or because it is the “holiday spirit.” However, if spending time with certain people makes us uncomfortable, it is okay to set limits on how much time we spend with them or even if we spend time with them at all. Remember that we cannot control how others behave but we can control how we respond to them.
One of the best ways to manage stress is to plan ahead. This means creating a budget for gifts, getting your travel arrangements in order, and setting aside time for yourself. By planning ahead, you’ll be able to focus on enjoying the holiday season instead of scrambling to get everything done at the last minute.
Create a Support System
Another great way to manage stress is to create a support system of family and friends who you can rely on during difficult times. This support system can be a shoulder to cry on when things get tough or simply someone to vent to when needed. Having people you can rely on will make a world of difference during the holiday season.
Take Time for Yourself
Finally, don’t forget to take time for yourself during the holiday season. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of parties, shopping, and cooking. But if you don’t take some time out for yourself, you’re likely to end up feeling frazzled and stressed. So take some time each day to do something that you enjoy, whether it’s reading, taking a walk, or simply taking a few minutes to relax. You’ll be glad you did!
The holiday season is a wonderful time of year but it can also be quite stressful. If you’re not careful, the holidays can quickly become a minefield of difficult personalities and stressful situations. That’s why it’s so important to establish personal boundaries and learn how to handle difficult personalities before the holiday season gets underway. By following these tips, you’ll be able to manage stress during the holidays and enjoy this special time of year with family and friends.
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