The response to last week’s blog post (http://www.ldjuarez.com/empower-full/reset/) was amazing! Thank you for that! So many requests for the topic of boundaries… so here we are. I’m focusing on the holidays here, and will publish another, more general post today as well. 😉 It’s a Twofer!! haha
Have you placed yourself back onto your priority list? Did you do something relaxing just for you last week or weekend?
Yes? GOOD STUFF BAYBIE!!! WOOT WOOT WOOT! Keep up the good work!
No? Dangit! Well, you can always start today. K? The sooner you do, the better you’ll feel.
SO. How do we keep sane during the holidays?
On a normal day, maybe it’s a bit easier to maintain our boundaries. During the holidays, however, it seems we let it all go out the window in exchange for what we think will be a more harmonious, anxiety-free time.
Does that work?
For me, it does not. If I don’t honor myself, I end up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and like I wanna get off the merry-go-round and go sit under a tree by myself. Haha
Here are a few scenarios to consider:
TRAVEL/STAYING IN OTHERS’ HOMES
Are you comfortable packing up and heading to family or friends’ homes? Then by all means, do it and have a wonderful time. Or, do you go, because you feel pressured to – you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or maybe you feel like they will view you in a different light?
If any part of a situation like this is uncomfortable for you, decide what you need so that it is. Sometimes a simple solution is all it will take.
Do you have food allergies? Usually family and friends won’t mind you bringing items to their home that you can enjoy. Talk to them ahead of time. They may even suggest you provide them with a few recipes. Maybe you can cook together and make some lovely memories that way. Mealtimes will be more enjoyable for everyone when no one feels left out.
Do you prefer your own bathroom or bedroom, and know there isn’t quite that accommodation for you at the particular home you’ll be visiting? It’s completely ok to reserve a nearby hotel room. You will be sleeping and getting ready there, and spending the rest of the time with your family or friends. Just talk to your hosts ahead of time in a loving way, owning your need yet expressing gratitude for their open doors. By communicating your comfort level in a respectful way, there will be no hard feelings. I personally own and admit that I’m quite the “Princess and the Pea” when it comes to sleeping arrangements. I like it dark, perfectly quiet and I enjoy my own space. I also prefer my own bathroom. For years I would hide that fact in order to be a “people-pleaser”. Not anymore. I just laugh about it, shrug my shoulders and own it. Guess what. People laugh, and understand. There are no hard feelings.
Are you a crowd person? Or do you prefer more intimate gatherings? It’s perfectly acceptable to decline an invitation to a huge event, yet plan to meet up with the hosts at a later date. People invite you to parties and events because they love your company. No matter how they get to see you. Do what makes YOU feel most comfortable. People understand.
Is it an important event, like a holiday wedding, or something like that? Maybe it’s out of town and for some reason there wouldn’t be a more convenient time to visit? Do what makes you feel most comfortable. Attend part, maybe you attend the wedding but not the reception. You can still send a gift along. Go early and leave early. Go late! Whatever makes you feel most comfortable, do that. Respectfully, of course. Let your hosts know ahead of time what your plan is, and how much it means to you to celebrate their day. I’m sure the etiquette folks are shaking their freshly manicured fingers at me on this, but I believe that most people are understanding. The people that love you will appreciate your candor, and enjoy any way you can celebrate with them. (Ok, if you are IN the wedding, c’mon, ya GOTTA participate! Haha So this doesn’t apply to THAT.)
EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS
Maybe people in your life take advantage of your kindness and willingness to help. If you don’t enforce personal boundaries, you could end up being the chauffeur, caterer, personal shopper, and +1 for every holiday party in town. If you LIKE all that busy-ness and have the time to do it, then by all means, carry on! However, most of us have a lot we need to do, as well. Putting your needs and to-do list last, so you can accommodate everyone else’s demands, will only frustrate and drain you. It’s perfectly ok to limit these kinds of activities, or decline them all if you truly don’t have the time. Just make sure you are expressing yourself lovingly and respectfully.
I hope I’ve covered all the holiday-type scenarios. If I’ve left anything out, comment below and make sure to check the box to be notified of replies. I’m happy to keep the conversation going!
Now, get out there and make this the most comfy, cozy, happy, exciting, anxiety-free time you’ve ever experienced. You deserve it!