Your mental health is important, regardless of the time of year. An important part of self-care is knowing your limits and staying within them. It’s okay to say “no,” if someone asks too much from you even when Santa’s on his way.
- If you can, let the people close to you know your limits before they get to them. Let your kids and your spouse know that you will not stay later than a certain time at the party. Let people know you don’t appreciate jokes about a certain topic.
- Respect yourself and respect others. This can mean respecting your own boundaries and the boundaries of others.
- Don’t be afraid of conflict. Good communication, love, and respect can help you get through conflict with your relationships intact.
- Communicate your needs clearly, simply and directly. It’s easier for people to help you when they know what you need. No one is a mind-reader.
- Don’t be controlled by guilt, and don’t control others by guilt. There is no shame in having and keeping boundaries. Boundaries keep everyone happy and sane and assure for a better time had by all.
- Be realistic about what you can really do. Don’t stress yourself with everyone’s expectations (including your own). Give yourself permission to ask for help and delegate. Pace yourself. There’s no harm in ordering out or buying pre-made.
Care for yourself and others by respecting boundaries this holiday season. Boundaries are there to help relationships grow and keep everyone well. Your mental health is important, not only to you, but those who care about you, too.
By Bethanie Ryan