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Top 5 Boundaries To Employ So You Can Thrive Not Just Survive The Holidays

Written by: Heidi Dinning, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Heidi Dinning

Holidays bring cheer, comfort, joy, celebration, reflection and gratitude. Unfortunately, the holidays can also bring stress, toxicity, demands, guilt, expectations and an overall dread of having to spend time with family because of how it is or how it feels for you. If the holidays tend to be more the latter for you, it’s helpful to remember where your lines are, through healthy boundaries that promote respect, clear communication, personal space and care of oneself. Here are the top five boundaries to employ so you can focus on enjoying the holiday season for what it’s meant to be.

woman sitting in sofa

1. Emotional boundaries

Setting the stage for what to expect and knowing your emotional limits or triggers is a healthy starting point when approaching the holidays. Emotionally preparing for what’s to come and checking yourself for blind spots and triggers is essential. Through advanced emotional preparation, and self-awareness, you can approach the holiday by pacing yourself, checking-in with yourself, and using your tools to stay clear. Know when or who you manage your time with.

By fostering self-awareness and creating emotional boundaries for yourself, you are ultimately creating an environment of safety, understanding and support for yourself, and for others.

2. Communication boundaries

Clear, purposeful and effective communication is key to maintaining healthy boundaries, encouraging understanding, empathy, and cooperation. Promote open and honest dialogue, but ensure you are set limits on topics you don’t want to discuss, disrespectful communication or hurtful words that are not ok with you. If someone is reacting to the limits you set, remind yourself that is their issue, not yours. By setting these boundaries, you create safe interactions to be able to relax, thrive and enjoy.

3. Time management boundaries

It may feel like you are obligated to say yes to every family event and commitment during the holidays. Here’s the good news! You do not. You are allowed to have boundaries around your time and your energy. In today’s world of immediate gratification, fast pace and demands, we are over committing ourselves and risking burnout. Holidays and family time is no different. Setting healthy boundaries around what you’re able and not able to do allows you to govern your time and energy not a family member. Prioritize events and ensure that you are protecting your energy and time.

4. Self-care boundaries

Prioritize self-care. Prepare yourself for the holidays by taking good care of your physical, mental and emotional health. Know your limits, and ensure that you are maintaining your personal care through the holiday season in a way that works for you. Use tools that work for you including exercise, cold exposure, breathing and other relaxation techniques. Ensure you are participating in the holiday cheer that brings you joy, but by prioritizing self-care, you will feel more calm, less triggered, and more in control and you’ll also contribute to creating a family culture that values individual well-being.

5. Personal space and privacy boundaries

Respecting personal space and privacy is crucial for maintaining your boundaries. If you’re hosting family members, it is healthy to suggest the rules and boundaries of the household in advance or upon arrival. Set up designated areas for your family to gather, stay and enjoy and separate your family’s private spaces – ensuring those who are visiting understand the household limits. This will allow you to ensure respect for your space, and also maintain a space for solitude, personal activities and recharging when you need it. Alternatively, if you are staying with family, ensure you have a private space to retreat to, and respect around that time and space for you. Promoting a sense of autonomy and mutual respect within the household between those who live there and those who are visiting will contribute to a harmonious holiday time.

Thriving during the holidays requires intentional efforts to establish and maintain healthy personal boundaries. By implementing these boundaries, respecting personal space and privacy, managing time effectively, fostering emotional boundaries, and prioritizing self-care, you can transform your experience from mere survival to a thriving experience. Remember, these boundaries are meant to create an environment where you can continue to participate in holiday family time feeling less focused on the negative, creating a more fulfilling and positive holiday experience.

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Heidi Dinning Brainz Magazine

Heidi Dinning, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Heidi is a Certified Divorce Coach, Certified Recovery Coach and a Family & Interpersonal Communications Expert supporting individuals and families all over Canada, the US and some beyond the borders through separation and divorce. Having a lifetime of lived experience with divorce, both from a child’s perspective when her parents divorced, and her own divorce ten years ago, Heidi’s experience created a fire within her to to create a way to reduce the stigma around divorce, and support others walking that bewildering, confusing and difficult path to a better life. Using her natural intuitions, communications expertise and emotional intelligence, Heidi has created a practice that truly meets people where they are at and supports them to move forward in healthy, clear and positive ways for themselves and their family. Heidi also has authored an e-book on talking to your kids about divorce, ultimately setting the tone for the family to thrive through divorce not merely survive.


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