Sick of just getting through the holiday season?
Being pulled in a million different directions?
Calendar already full till the end of the year?
Or have you said NO to everyone and everything because you just can’t take it anymore?
There is a middle ground and that ground is called Happiness…Yours.
The holidays are a microcosm of your life. If you are frustrated, swamped and ready to scream, chances are you spend much of your life this way. Creating and having healthy, loving boundaries is the best gift you can give to yourself and your friends and family. There are different ways to create your happiness.
Start with making yourself a very basic list… not what to buy, but what you want to be through the holiday season. For me Happy is always my answer. I always want to be happy through the holidays. It is difficult to be happy if you are running yourself ragged doing for everyone else. For the Mom’s and Dad’s out there, you are role modeling for your family all the time, so going crazy is what you are teaching our family through the holidays. Is that what you want?
Focusing on what and who YOU want to be is what changes everything and everyone around you…because you change.
So now how you want to be…write it up, not a big time consuming essay. The basics. Are you ready.
How I want to be through the holidays and beyond.
- Time spent with friends – hours/minutes
- Time spent with immediate family
- Time spent with extended family
- Time spent shopping for the holidays (alone, with friends, with family)
- Money and time I am willing to spend on gifts for others (total, include gift wrapping either your time or money to have it done in stores.
- Money I am willing to spend on food/alcohol for family and friends at holidays
By answering these questions you are creating healthy, loving boundaries for yourself. By being specific with your time and your money, you now open yourself up to how many times you can say YES to others and how many times you can say NO. Creating these boundaries is not punishment and you can adjust it, but I would suggest that you give yourself time to think about these questions before you just write down your answers. For me while I take my shower I think about what I need/want.
This is about loving yourself as much as you love everyone else. It is setting you up for an enjoyable holiday season that you can extend into the rest of your life.
I created this list of questions for time/money for the holiday season because in doing this, you will open up your heart to what you really want, and begin to create it. You can create a different list of questions during different times in your life to create what you want. I do this anytime I am feeling stressed out about what is going on in my life, it gets me back on track.
If doing this for the whole holiday season is too overwhelming, answer for the next week only.
You don’t have to wait until you are stressed to create a list, you can do it all the time to prevent stress.
There are other tools and strategies that you can use to feel in control of your life. The key with this statement is that you are in control of your life, not anybody else’s life.
This is a very practical way to start to make changes, but chances are that your habits are old and hold strong to who you are. The fear of what others will think of you and even worse, fear of what you will think of you, if you put yourself first, or at least equal to others in your life can be devastating.
Getting in the habit of taking a few deep breaths before taking on a task or before answering yes to someone when they ask. Just breathing and focusing on you, what your body your heart is telling you.
Practice saying no to others, for small things, ask for help with it. Explain to a loved one or a friend that you are learning something new about yourself and would love their support. Start small (even though it doesn’t feel small). I remember the first time I told my husband no to a movie. A movie, and I thought it would ruin me. The silly thoughts that ran through my head, as I look back it was astounding how much I beat myself up for saying no to a movie and what I thought of myself for it…not a good wife, selfish, mean, cruel, etc. So even the small stuff can seem big when learning boundaries for a healthy relationship.
Practice breathing deeply, often as you practice saying no. This will make every relationship better. It will be an adjustment for those in your life as well as for you. Allow for all the feelings that come up as you learn to create healthy, loving boundaries.