Ever since I can remember I’ve looked forward to this time of year. Overall the holiday season brings good cheer and the opportunity for families to come together. The older I get, and more specifically these last two years, I’ve become acutely aware of what disturbs me during this season. Underneath the excitement is often anxiety surrounding family dynamics. Knowing this, I am actively engaged in guarding my heart and maintaining my joy. Today I’m sharing 5 Ways to Protect Your Peace During the Holidays.
1. Guard Your Conversation
Perhaps it’s a sibling calling to complain about your parents. Or a oarent calling to guilt you into changing your plans. Maybe a friend calling with the latest gossip or drama. This is where I need you to guard your conversation. Redirect the call or end it entirely. Even during face to face conversations don’t be afraid to inform folks that some topics are off limits. You will NOT be explaining why you’re still single. You will NOT be discussing your fertility. You will NOT talk about the recent breakup or your career change. Minding your business is always in order.
2. Guard Your Space
Even if the festivities are at your house this year you have a right to control the energy of your home. Don’t allow people to invade your space with negativity and chaos. It’s not rude, it’s your right. If you’re visiting others, you are not obligated to hug, kiss, sit near, or stand next to anyone whose makes you uncomfortable. Excuse yourself from the table, go upstairs/downstairs to chat, etc… You are not a prisoner.
3. Guard Your Time
Hosting holiday festivities also means that YOU get to decide how long folks stay in your home. If family is notoriously late and inconsiderate, inform them of the start and end times. If you snooze you lose! Having decided to venture out to someone else’s home, you too are not obligated to stay all day. If you can give 3 hours max without feeling overwhelmed so be it.
4. Guard Your Plate
Don’t drink alcohol? Skip the toast or opt for cider. Vegan? Don’t let Grandma slap her famous deviled eggs on your plate. Also, don’t allow what you put on your plate to become the topic of table conversation. No you don’t have to betray yourself and eat foods you avoid, but you also don’t have to eat like abird because mama likes to body shame.
5. Guard Your Money
Finally, if it’s not in your budget, don’t buy it beloved. I know your sister shows up like Old Saint Nick with gifts for everyone… Uncle Bill can’t wait to pull up in his 2020 Range… But you can not afford to go broke trying to buy validation. Honor yourself by committing to the financial discipline you’ve been practicing all year!
As you can see all five of these suggestions can be summed up in one word: boundaries. Setting and maintaining personal boundaries is something I’ve been working on all year. As the holidays approached I could feel myself becoming anxious. I began to worry that those boundaries would make me appear cold or distant. However, I’ve made too much progress in 2019 to lose it all at the dinner table. I encourage you nit to do so either! Xo
Dress//H&M , Wrap//K. Vaughn Scarves , Shoes//Donald J. Pliner