Healthy Holiday Boundaries
We all just survived a pandemic. That is no small feat!
As the holidays come around, we are going to be surrounded by greater volumes of people with differing opinions, varying health situations, preferences, and standards. It can be overwhelming!
While it is important to try and be accommodating to our friends and family to care for them in the best way, we also have to draw some lines for ourselves in order to set up healthy boundaries.
Here are some things I’ve learned in the past to prioritize my well-being while also loving my friends and family.
Varying comfort levels
Everyone has a personal choice of what they’re comfortable with.
The key to this topic that I wish to hone in on is that everyone has a personal choice of what they are comfortable with. And that’s okay.
All too often we find ourselves caught up in a debate about what is right and wrong, or what we should and should not do when the simple truth is that it’s up to you to decide.
Not your friend, your coworker, or even spouse. Take ownership of the beautiful fact that you get to determine what is best for you.
Expressing boundaries to family
It’s also okay to set yourself up with what you’re comfortable with around holiday time. If you are uncomfortable being around those who are not vaccinated, it’s okay to voice your stance on that.
It does not have to be offensive if it’s the truth. Let no one shame you for how you feel!
If you do not verbalize how you feel, the alternative is finding yourself in an extremely uncomfortable situation that you could end up regretting later. At the end of the day, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Hopefully, this simple truth will help you smooth things over with your loved ones, to help them realize that it is not personal but in fact a safety priority.
Suggesting alternatives to gather
If you are comfortable with gatherings as normal, then go and enjoy yourself! But if you are not, here are some good alternative suggestions you may mention:
“I’m going to refrain from this family gathering, so I can take steps to avoid unnecessary risk. Not because I don’t love you.”
“What about we hop on a Zoom family meeting, or do Thanksgiving dinner via Skype call?”
Or, if you are comfortable being with them only for a few hours, that’s fine too. At the end of the day, it really is up to you!
I like to try and compromise and be accommodating with others whenever I can, but I also will not conform just for the sake of other people’s feelings. I feel strongly that I have to advocate for myself and my best interests--and so should you!
Which emotional aspect of SMA do you find most difficult?