Boundaries are important as they help us stay well. Being clear about our boundaries can also improve our relationships as others know our limits. And we are often happier in our relationships if everyone involved has a healthy boundary. Making choices about our pregnancy or parenting are good examples of times when setting boundaries on what is right for us can be particularly important.
The holiday season is also a time when our boundaries are more likely to be pushed. Maybe we need space to rest or want to spend the holiday with only our immediate family. Perhaps we don’t want to travel, we don’t want our children to be given sugary treats or maybe we expect everyone to contribute to the holiday meal. Your boundary is quite probably unique to you. And this is perfect. Others don’t have to agree with, like or understand our boundaries for these to be valid.
However, setting boundaries can be challenging for many of us. Sometimes we might not be aware of our boundaries. Or we might worry about hurting someone’s feelings, them getting angry, feeling uncomfortable or letting someone down.
If this sounds like you, I want to challenge you to think about what you need and trust your gut instinct. Once you’ve determined what’s right for you, think about how you can express your boundary lovingly to others (and restate it if needed). They may not like it and that’s okay. Or their reaction may be much more positive than you expect. Either way, celebrate yourself for honouring your needs.
I’ll admit that boundaries have not always been easy for me and now keeping my boundaries is one of my strengths. This took practice and it got easier each time I did it.
This is also an area where coaching can be immensely helpful. Coaching can help you become clear on your boundaries, breakdown barriers to setting boundaries in your life and support you to do this with more ease. See my website if you would like to explore your boundaries in coaching.