10 ways to Set Healthy Boundaries this Holiday Season

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The holidays are a time filled with family events and togetherness.  Without appropriate boundaries, this time of year could lead to more tears than cheer.  Here is a list of 10 ways to set healthy boundaries this holiday season.

  1. If you tend to be a people pleaser, remind yourself that it is okay to say "no" even if you feel guilty doing so. Before saying "yes" to anything, ask yourself how you feel when you imagine committing to this.  If you feel depleted just thinking about it, that's your cue to say no.
  2. Politely change the topic or leave a conversation that makes you uncomfortable.
  3. Don't try to control what anyone else does, says, eats, or drinks.
  4. Pay close attention to your emotions and use them as warning signals. Are you feeling resentful or overwhelmed? These emotions may be trying to tell you that you aren't enforcing appropriate boundaries.
  5. Remember that you are not responsible for other people's happiness. Everyone needs support from loved ones, but when you feel personally responsible for another person’s emotions, you deny that person the opportunity to create his/her own well-being. 
  6. Express your needs or emotions in an assertive and respectful way. Avoid passive-aggressive behavior.
  7. Reduce your emotional vulnerability by adhering to your PLEASE skills.
  8. Spend the most time with people who are supportive.
  9. Take responsibility for your own actions and joy.
  10. Know the difference between selfishness and self care.  Putting your self-care first is like putting your oxygen mask on the plane before helping others.  The more you take care of yourself, the more you will be present and available for others.