Ugh, the holidays again…can create an overlying sense of dread for many of us. Pressure to do more, be more and socialize more particularly with people we may only see once a year. This year due to COVID, those pressures also are up against trying to avoid crowds. If you’re a woman, many of these pressures drop on your shoulders to fulfill the holiday expectations and obligations.
Creating and setting boundaries can be of greater importance during these times than at others. When every expectant face and invite for one more thing all seems to pull you in about 20 different directions. An image of the “perfect” family holiday comes to mind and you are suddenly saying yes, you’d love to host Christmas dinner for an extra 20 people. No, you’re sure it’s not an issue, yet deep in your body, your heart, and your mind, you’re screaming NOOOOOO!!
We can find ourselves trapped in this illusion of creating a “perfect, normal” family idealized holiday. Yet we know by the second holiday supper, the third office party, and the never ending feasting frenzy, we’re done and the major holiday hasn’t happened yet. We find ourselves being cranky, and overtired. Out of frustration we begin to say NO to everything and everyone, and the joy of the holidays is feeling like a lead balloon.
While not an ideal situation, reminding ourselves of past holidays, it can help us to recognize patterns and behaviours in the past. Giving us insight into changes we’d like to make going forward in how we spend our holidays. Pairing down, setting priorities, and saying no can really create some new ways to make the holidays less stressful. This new way can create new and more meaningful experiences for everyone.
Here are some ideas to help:
- Write a list of all the activities you do either by yourself or as a family. Start prioritizing that list.
- Ask someone else to help with some of the cooking, shopping, or whatever that needs to be done.
- Find ways to spend time with friends, family, and co-workers through out the year, rather than creating this big event only during the holidays.
- Take time for self-care inbetween all the hustle and bustle, especially if you’re an introvert.
- Remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect. As the Grinch realizes, Christmas comes even without ribbons, bows, and gifts.
If you’d like more support with creating boundaries, we offer lifecoaching, an online support group, and continue to watch our website as we have new programs and events dropping in the new year.
Note: We are not Therapists, Registered Counsellors, Psychologists, and or Medical doctors. We are survivors ourselves, who offer support groups and services that help complement traditional therapies and medications. At no time are we providing a diagnosis or making medical recommendations. It is always recommended you speak with a Health Care Professional before making any changes.