By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
“I just need to get through the holidays.”
This might be one of the most common phrases uttered during the holiday season. And, I get why it is said. We are already busy with our day-to-day lives, then, the holidays show up with all the extra - decorating, Christmas cards, get-togethers, cooking, shopping - so many extra things pulling on our time, energy, and finances. If left unchecked, you could find yourself stressed and burned out, unable to enjoy the holiday you are working so hard to create.
Here’s the truth. The holidays should be joyful and enjoyable, not something you need to muscle through like the flu. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t as hard as you think to make this year’s holiday season the best yet. The key to calm the holiday chaos is setting boundaries in a few key areas and making a commitment to yourself to stick with them. DreamChaser, now is the ideal time to set them…before the holidays take off. Without further ado, here are your
5 Must-Have Holiday Boundaries:
1. Know What You Want
Awareness is the place to start. You need to know what your ideal holiday is before you can implement any boundaries to protect them. Take a few minutes and think about what you want from this season. What are your favorite things to do? What do you dread doing? What do you want more of? What could go? Pay attention to your limits…a key to an enjoyable holiday season is to not over do it!
2. Make an Effort to Stick to Routines
Those things you do that make you feel better like exercise, meditation, journaling, adequate sleep, water, nutritious foods…these have a tendency to go to the wayside during the chaotic holiday season. You can’t be your best if you aren’t taking care of yourself, especially in times of higher stress. Do your best to stick to your routines. They may be inconsistent during the holiday season, but making an effort will boost your confidence and make it easier to slip back into these routines once this holiday season is over. You are worth putting yourself first, DreamChaser!
3. Say Your Best Yes
More than any other season, the holidays pull you in so many directions. So many people want your time, energy, and attention. Then, add in a flare of F.O.M.O…you know, Fear Of Missing Out. There you are, scrolling through Facebook and see this friend at the ice castles and that friend at the zoo lights and another on a horse drawn carriage ride…suddenly, your cozy, Hallmark-watching, cocoa-sipping Friday night seems lame. Stop. Right now. Here’s the truth…you can’t do everything. You only have so much time and energy to give. You need to choose where and with whom you spend it. Save your holiday “yes” for your Best Yes - the ones that bring you joy, fill your cup, and add value to your holiday experience and life. The rest? Say NO and let it go! (And…when the F.O.M.O. flares up, the best prescription is a social media break!).
4. Budgets are Your New Holiday Wingman (or Wing-woman)
There are two budgets to consider during the holidays…time and finances. I can’t stress it enough…not over-doing or over-committing is the key to a joyful, enjoyable, and stress-free holiday. It’s better to say a few more Nos to achieve this. Knowing how much time you have and are willing to spend is an area worth evaluating…make a list of your holiday have-to’s and want-to’s, then schedule them into your calendar. As we said in #3, say no and let it go to everything else. Similarly, having a financial budget is crucial for the holidays. It’s very easy to overspend during this time. Make a list of who you plan to shop for. Look at your finances and set a reasonable budget. Then, commit to sticking to this plan…you will thank me later!
5. Drop the Guilt
This is the ultimate boundary…one on your feelings and emotions. Where to start? Stop shoulding on yourself! You know…I should have done this…I should have done that…I should, should, should. Switch the should with could…that flips it from a place of guilt to one of choice. Then, go decide if the could is a Best Yes or not…if not, then you know what to do! Say “No” and let it go! And, with letting it go, let go of any guilt or other negative vibes along with it. It is okay to say no to things, even good things, in order to say yes to the best!
This is the time to put these boundaries in place, DreamChaser, before the holidays get rolling. If this is your first go at boundary setting, especially during the holidays, it will be a little weird at first. You might even experience push back. Guess what that means? The boundary was definitely needed! Speak up for what YOU want this holiday season…it’s YOUR holiday, too. I mean, it’s only your one Best Life we are talking about here!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.