During the holidays, people tend to overcommit themselves and lack boundaries regarding what they are going to do. Between family gatherings, work parties, and social events, finding yourself with a packed schedule is easy. But constantly saying “yes” to everything can make you feel anxious and pressed for time.
Before you know it, the holidays have come and gone and you’re left feeling exhausted and stressed out. Boundaries? What boundaries? It’s a struggle to have them with family and friends, especially during this busy season. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can learn to set boundaries and prioritize your well-being, even during the holidays.
Start Setting Boundaries
Maybe you feel anxious and depressed around this time of year. You’re dreading the inevitable questions from family and friends: “Why don’t you have a significant other?” or “When are you having a baby?” These types of questions can make anyone feel uncomfortable and put pressure on them to live up to societal expectations.
That’s where boundaries come in. Boundaries are not just based on feelings, but also on your intellectual rights. It’s important to recognize that you have the right to set boundaries and not engage in conversations or activities that make you uncomfortable. This includes topics like politics, your personal life, and finances.
Set Boundaries Around Your Time
Don’t feel guilty for saying “No”. It’s okay to prioritize your time and only commit to things that bring you joy. Take a look at your schedule and determine what is realistic for you to do, both mentally and physically. Be honest with yourself about how much time you have and don’t be afraid to decline invitations or delegate tasks.
You don’t have to attend every single event or buy gifts for everyone you know. It’s important to prioritize your time and energy, especially if you struggle with anxiety. You can set certain boundaries on how much time you’re going to bake for your family gathering, or how many parties you’re going to attend.
Set Boundaries on Financial Pressure
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the financial pressures of the holiday season. It may seem like you have to spend a certain amount or buy gifts for every person in your life, but that’s not true. Set a budget for yourself and stick to it. You can also suggest doing Secret Santa or only buying gifts for the children in your family to save money. Remember, it’s the thought and time that counts, not the amount of money you spend.
If you are feeling pressured by family or friends to spend more money than you are comfortable with, it’s okay to say “no”. You have the right to set boundaries around your finances and not feel guilty about it. Nor do you have to explain or justify your decisions to anyone.
Managing Social Situations
The holidays often mean spending more time with family and friends. While this can be enjoyable, it’s also important to know your limits and set boundaries around social situations that may cause you anxiety. If someone asks you a question that makes you uncomfortable, such as asking about your personal life or pressuring you to do something you don’t want to do, it’s okay to say “I’m not comfortable discussing this with you” or simply change the subject.
Remember that you have the right to control the conversation and not engage in anything that causes you stress. You can also take breaks if you need some time alone to recharge and relax. Leaving the room for a few minutes or going for a walk can help alleviate any feelings of anxiety or overwhelm.
Don’t Forget About Self-Care
It’s common when you’re running around trying to get everything done, you forget to take care of yourself. From getting and preparing food, buying and wrapping gifts, and attending social events, it can be easy to let self-care fall by the wayside. But it’s important to take care of yourself during this busy season.
When you’re using all of your steam to perform tasks and attend events, you may feel overwhelmed and anxious. That is why taking time when you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or uncomfortable is so important. Take a moment to stop, breathe, and calm down before you continue with your day. This can help alleviate any feelings of anxiety and allow you to better enjoy the holiday season.
Create an Exit Strategy
You don’t have to stay where you don’t feel comfortable. If you find yourself in a situation that is too overwhelming or causing you anxiety, it’s okay to leave. Create an exit strategy for these situations so you feel safe and supported. This could mean having a friend nearby who can rescue you, or simply telling the host that you need to leave early.
If an event or people do not bring you joy, it’s okay to not engage with them. It’s important to prioritize your well-being and mental health, even if that means saying no or leaving early. Also, don’t feel guilty about it – taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do during this time.
Roleplaying with Your Therapist
Sometimes the idea of setting boundaries with family and friends can be daunting, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. That’s where roleplaying with your anxiety therapist in Boca Raton, FL can help. By practicing different scenarios and conversations, you can gain confidence in setting boundaries and learn how to effectively communicate them.
Your therapist can also provide support and guidance as you navigate these potentially difficult situations. They can help you come up with personalized strategies and coping mechanisms to make the holiday season more manageable and less triggering. For example, if you have been wanting to get married and haven’t yet, your therapist can help you prepare for potential triggering questions about it. This can be coming up with go-to answers or practicing how to redirect the conversation.
You Can Learn How to Become Comfortable with Getting Assertive
Learning how to set boundaries and communicate them effectively can be a difficult process, but it is possible. With the support and guidance of an anxiety therapist in Boca Raton, FL, you can learn practical strategies for becoming more assertive and advocating for yourself. When uncomfortable topics come up during family gatherings or social events, you’ll be better equipped to handle them in a way that prioritizes your well-being and personal boundaries.
You can say “That’s inappropriate. I’m not going to discuss that” or “I’m not comfortable talking to you about that” when someone asks you about something that makes you uncomfortable. Your therapist can also help you role-play and practice saying “no” in various situations so that it becomes more comfortable for you.
Overall, remember that your well-being and mental health come first. Don’t be afraid to prioritize yourself during this busy time of year. With the support of an anxiety therapist in Boca Raton, FL, or a nearby area such as Weston or Gainesville, you can learn how to become more comfortable with getting assertive and setting boundaries in a healthy manner. This will not only benefit you during the holiday season but also in your everyday life.
Prepare for the Holiday Season with an Anxiety Therapist in Boca Raton, FL
Don’t let anxiety and stress take over your holiday season. By working with an anxiety therapist in Boca Raton, FL, or a nearby area such as Weston, you can learn practical strategies. Ones for managing social situations, setting boundaries, and practicing self-care during this busy time of year. At Invigorate Counseling, we specialize in anxiety treatment in Gainesville, Boca Raton, or anywhere in Florida. I am here to provide you with the support you need to navigate the holiday season with ease. Don’t let anxiety hold you back from making the most of this special time with your loved ones. Follow these three simple steps to get started:
- Schedule a free 15-minute consultation to see if is right for you
- Begin meeting with me, Lindsay Howard, a skilled depression therapist
- Prepare for a holiday season filled with joy and peace as you learn to manage your anxiety!
Other Services Offered at Invigorate Counseling
At Invigorate Counseling, my goal is to support you in all areas of your individual mental health. Along with Anxiety Therapy, I offer other specialized services. These include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Grief Counseling, and Addiction Counseling. My services are offered for clients located in the state of Florida, specific to Parkland, Coconut Creek, Miami and Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Orlando, Tallahassee, and anywhere else in the state! For more about my practice, check out my FAQs and Blog!