Festival gatherings and celebrations are always joyous occasions. But, sometimes, they do feel overwhelming and uneasy to contain. If you are experiencing the same thing, here are the 12 simple tips to teach you how to set boundaries.
Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed during festive seasons? Can you put that in words and share this feeling with others? Does social anxiety take over you during the festivities? If you feel this but cannot express it to others, you lack boundaries.
We are constantly presented with these glamorized and joyous images of the festive season. Little do we talk about the overwhelming feeling that strikes us with endless invitations, social gatherings, and expectations to be perfect every moment.
You are expected to have a constant smile and show that you are happy even though you may be falling apart. But this year, you don’t need to go through this unwanted social pressure.
While Christmas is “the best time of the year” for some people, it is also “the most depressing time of the year” for some. The holiday stress, the obligations to attend social gatherings, and the constant pressure to have “the perfect holiday season”, all make it difficult for people to enjoy Christmas as it should be.
All of this increases the need to set your boundaries both physically and mentally. It makes it important that you know how to say no to protect your peace and sanity.
Hence, as we approach Christmas, here is a list of 12 simple ways that will show you how to set boundaries during the festive season. Also, it will enable you to keep your well-being and maintain a sense of balance.
How to Set Boundaries this Christmas? 12 Simple Tips That Work
Learning how to set your boundaries can be a difficult process for some people. Especially if you have lived your life being the one who is always there for others, if you are a people pleaser, this can be a tough thing to do.
However, it is important and it should be done. Thus, here are 12 simple tips on how to set boundaries during Christmas.
1. Be choosy about your events
We don’t meet people frequently during regular days, so there is a notion that a festival is an ideal time to meet and greet everyone. As a result, our homes are filled with invitations.
However, it’s not as rosy as it seems. Visiting people throughout the day, looking perfect, showing a broad smile, and conversing continuously is difficult.
Also, it doesn’t give you enough time to decorate, celebrate, and enjoy Christmas at home, with the people who matter.
To save yourself from the constant whirl of events, you must have clear priorities. You don’t have to attend every holiday party or event you’re invited to. Be mindful to pick the most meaningful ones.
Identify what is truly important for you during the holidays and focus your time and energy on those aspects. This will help you enjoy every moment of Christmas with your special people instead of making an easily ignored attendance at all events.
2. Know your limits and what you can handle
If you’re like, you may find it very hard to say no to people. You don’t like to hurt or disappoint anyone. So, it’s natural that you may want to fulfill every Christmas plan request or invitation that comes your way.
Friends plan parties, picnics, or reunions. At the same time, relatives may ask you to help them with their events or participate in their plans.
In such a situation, when you commit to everyone, you will either be unable to fulfill the expectations, or you will render yourself tired or frustrated. All of this leads to nowhere and you may end up messing up your holiday season.
None of them is desirable. Thus, the solution is to set your boundaries and become more choosy about your presence and time. Don’t overcommit yourself to do it all. You must know that it’s okay to say no if you feel overwhelmed or stressed.
3. How to Set Boundaries? Be Clear about Your Christmas Plans
Getting entangled in your multiple plans to create that perfect Christmas is normal. You may plan to take a holiday, try some new Christmas activities, or do some random stuff.
But sometimes, things get out of your hand. You may either forget half the things or you don’t find enough time to execute those plans.
You can avoid this situation by creating a holiday schedule that includes time for rest, relaxation, and personal activities. Stick to your planned activities to protect your time and use it wisely.
4. Ask for help
Managing everything alone during the festive and holiday season is an easy recipe for burnout. You are not a superhuman and you don’t have to do it all alone. You don’t have to manage all the tasks like decoration, baking, organizing parties, sending invitations, and more all alone.
If you’re a control freak like me, I know how hard it is for you to delegate your work to others. The constant sense of hesitation and worry that others might mess it up never really leaves you.
But this is exactly why you must learn how to set boundaries not just with others but with yourself too. Even when it is difficult to do, it is important to break free from our own mental barriers.
Hence, do not hesitate to assign tasks or responsibilities to people around you, whether it’s at work or home.
It’s good to share the workload to ensure no one is overwhelmed and there is enough on everyone’s plate. Thus, step out of your “control freak” zone and ask people for help. Observe what they are good at and ask them if they would be willing to give a hand to prepare for the holiday season.
5. Set gift-giving limits
How often do you go over budget in purchasing Christmas gifts? Almost every time, right? It feels nice to give gifts to your loved ones during festivities. However, indulging in expensive gift shopping can often leave a hole in your pocket.
To save yourself from all the extravaganza during Christmas, ensure that you set a budget for gifts and stick to it. Here’s a list of budget-friendly Christmas gift ideas to save your gift-hunting time.
Remember, thoughtful gestures are not measured by the price tags. If the recipient truly values you, they will be happy and touched by your meaningful gestures. The holiday season is meant to bring cheer and happiness. It is not supposed to be a financial burden. So, don’t make it one.
6. Focus on Gratitude
While planning and getting ready for new things in life during Christmas, you may forget to cherish whatever you already have. You may set high expectations for Christmas about social gatherings, enjoying and just relaxing during the holiday season.
However, if the holiday season doesn’t go according to these expectations, you may also find yourself indulging in negative self-talk and constant complaints. This complex situation can make you feel stressed and unhappy.
Consequently, to save yourself from this negativity and constant pressure, the key is to focus on gratitude. When you acknowledge your blessings, your blessings expand. When you focus on the feeling of lack, that feeling grows. It is all in your mind after all.
Hence, it is extremely important to count your blessings and appreciate the moments with your loved ones. Irrespective of how small or insignificant these moments may feel to you in the present, these are the times that will bring a smile to your face in the future. Thus, be thankful for the life you have.
Instead of stressing about creating a perfect holiday atmosphere, be grateful for the people around you and make the most of the holiday season with them.
7. Set device boundaries
You cannot enjoy Christmas dinner or parties to its fullest until you give up using your devices. Constantly checking your notifications and scrolling on social media takes away from the real purpose of holidays: spending more time with family, resting, and rejuvenating.
Hence, it’s better to set device boundaries as well. Consider setting a timer for device usage and enjoy your holidays in a tech-free way. Give specific times for checking emails and social media.
Only when you limit your screen time, you can fully engage in the present moments. It’s the best way to enjoy every moment and relax in the truest sense.
8. Protect your personal time
The chaos of parties, dinners, decorations, and endless conversations can often leave you mentally and physically tired. While Christmas is the time for celebrations, it is also the time to take a break from your work and daily responsibilities.
So, if you need an hour or two alone each day, communicate that with your family and take that time for yourself. Spending more time with yourself by indulging in small things like taking a bath or reading a book can help you unwind from the stress you accumulate from your daily life.
9. It’s okay to say no to visitors
Hosting overnight guests, making arrangements for their comfortable stay, cooking, cleaning, and ensuring everything stays perfect requires much effort. Moreover, you may not always be physically and mentally prepared to take up this task.
In such situations, be cordial to suggest nearby hotel options for stay instead. It’s better to be clear on this instead of pressuring yourself and not fulfilling the expectations of your guests.
10. Establish quiet hours
The chaos, noise, and chuckles during Christmas are not always desirable. They are an essential feature of this festival, and we look forward to it.
But you don’t always want to be surrounded by noise. Amid that noise, you may yearn for some quiet moments to get some peace. Thus, make sure you limit your availability for calls or visits from family or friends.
11. Keep healthy habits
How often do you use Christmas as an excuse to eat more, enjoy more, and rest? Well, we all do take this time to break all our healthy habits for the sake of enjoyment. But you can’t deny that this ends up hampering your health in a way it should not.
To avoid this, be mindful of your lifestyle. Eat well, continue your exercise, and get adequate sleep. It will not only benefit your health but will also enable you to enjoy Christmas to its fullest.
12. Take some break
Christmas celebrations are in full swing. You may be attending one event after another, catching up with dinner, and lunches, decorating your home, and inviting and entertaining guests in a busy schedule. It’s fun but exhausting at the same time.
To ensure that it doesn’t take a toll on your mental or physical health, remember to take short breaks between attending an extended family gathering or event. Step outside from the gatherings for some fresh air.
You can even spend that time on reflection. Otherwise, spend a few minutes each day journaling, meditating, or reflecting on what matters most. Lastly, ensure that you get enough rest during the holidays.
When setting up boundaries for Christmas, you must be clear and communicate them precisely with your family or friends.
Learning how to set boundaries will help you be more present, genuinely enjoy the holiday moments, and create lasting memories with your loved ones.
It’s a balancing act allowing you to accept the festive spirit while respecting your needs. This will also help to make Christmas a significant and fulfilling time.
Understand that setting boundaries isn’t selfish; it’s an act of self-care that allows you to enjoy the holiday season while maintaining your well-being fully.