“The Holidays” are associated with any things, one of the most prevalent being gift giving.
For those of us who enjoy giving meaningful gifts that will bring joy to the recipient, celebratory events can add extra demands on our time and energy.
Toss in the effects of conflict and grief due to some life loss event and the holidays can become something that leaves you feeling overwhelmed, or something you fear or maybe even downright dread.
There are a few tips and simple strategies that can help you navigate the holidays with a little more confidence, grace, and ease. Setting boundaries is one of the simplest ways to accomplish your desired goals.
One of the first concepts to understand when it comes to happiness and setting boundaries is that the only person’s joy you can control is your own.
I once gave a previously requested, handmade gift to a friend and was shocked, speechless, and saddened when she asked, “What am I supposed to do with this?”
For half a second I felt horrible; I was embarrassed and doubtful about the gift I’d given. But after reexamining everything from my gift giving action to her ill-tempered reaction, I realized that the present ultimately reminded her of a difficult situation she’d recently faced, albeit one I knew nothing of at the time.
Our children are other recipients we want to please, yet who often have specific ideas and expectations that can trigger disappointment when they are too focused on the material side of receiving.
That, too, Journeyer, is out of your control. If you give from the heart, you can’t go wrong.
Enlisting the help of friends and family who are familiar with the intended recipient can be a great stress reliever if you are experiencing overwhelm or fog brain due to your grief.
When you are able to understand that you are not responsible for someone else’s happiness, you are able to set boundaries that foster your own healing.
Setting boundaries helps you heal your emotional facet because you are practicing self awareness and nurturing your needs.
Setting boundaries helps you heal your academic facet because you are cutting back or eliminating mental anxiety and stress that makes you feel like you are moving through sludge.
Setting boundaries helps you heal your physical facet because when you reduce emotional and academic stress on the body, you bring a sense of calm and you release those negative energy blocks that cause tension in the body.
Setting boundaries also helps you heal your social and spiritual facets because you are modeling how taking care of your personal needs is important and, thus, you are nurturing the very essence of who you are.
Giving from the heart can be done all year long, so if you are exhausted and overwhelmed, you may want to choose to participate only in the most special gifts. If you have young children, you may make them your one and only holiday gifting priority.
French philosopher, Albert Camus wrote, “To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.”
YOU are more important that any material expectation or that of another, Neighbor.
What happiness will you find in setting a few boundaries this holiday season, Neighbor?