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Sweet biscuit sugar plum. Halvah chocolate bar jujubes. Dragée donut candy.

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Setting Boundaries for the Holidays

Because your energy is sacred

If the holiday season is triggering or stressful to you, you are not alone! While this time of year can be so hard for so many reasons, we want to reach out and say we see you, and we want to gift you a few helpful ways to get through this season without being emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted by the end of it. How? Boundaries of course!

Creating healthy boundaries means recognizing and enforcing limits and rules that we set for ourselves and within relationships. Personal boundaries define where you end and others begin and are determined by the amount of physical and emotional space you allow between yourself and others.

Unhealthy boundaries cause emotional pain that can lead to dependency, depression, anxiety, and even stress-induced physical illness. Setting boundaries is empowering and essential to maintain physical and emotional health.

Healthy Boundaries can help you:

  • Communicate your needs and wants in a relationship

  • Make time and space for positive meaningful interactions with others

  • Set limits in a relationship in a way that is healthy

  • Practice self-care and self-respect

When you identify the need to set a boundary, do it clearly, calmly, firmly, respectfully, and in as few words as possible. Be aware to not justify, latch out, or apologize for the boundary you are setting.

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others”

— Brené Brown

3 steps required for a boundary to be effective:

1. Ask yourself:

  • What are my triggers?

  • What is something that doesn’t work or serve me anymore?

  • What patterns or cycles am I trying to break?

Example: I say “yes” to spending time with X when I really mean to say “no”. I need to say no to things I don’t have the capacity, time, or desire to do.

2. Set the expectation.

Communicate and express your needs and boundaries.

Example: I will say “no” when I need or want to say no. I will decline without over-explaining myself, making excuses, lying or apologizing.

This sounds like: “Thanks for the invitation, however I’m not available to attend.”

3. Honor the boundary.

  • Do what you said you would do (i.e. don’t take any more tasks until you’re ready)

  • Be consistent

  • Don’t be too flexible to make other people comfortable and happy

  • Remember why you’re setting the boundary in the first place

Remember: You are not responsible for the other person’s reaction to the boundary you are setting. You are only responsible for communicating your boundary in a respectful manner.

Learning to set healthy boundaries is a process and it takes time. Remind yourself you have a right to self-care. Be patient and consistent!


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