Survival Guide | Holidays

Set your boundaries! It’s okay to say no.

—Laura Corbeth

Holidays? Well, it’s not as easy as it looks for people who are dealing with dysfunctional family members.

Here is a list* that helps many out at this time of year.

  1. You do not have to go to any holiday events that will hurt you or trigger you.
  2. You are not obligated to share space with your abusers, no matter what others desire.
  3. You can decide to leave an event whenever it feels right for you.
  4. You choose who you hug and who you allow to touch you.
  5. You do not have to tolerate any comments that make you uncomfortable.
  6. You do not have to play nice in order to please others.
  7. You are allowed to choose the people you spend the holiday with.
  8. You are allowed to set boundaries around conversations, timelines, and people.
  9. Anything or anyone that reduces your self-worth is not worthy of your time.
  10. You do not have to do anything for tradition’s sake; some things are meant to change.

It is necessary, and even vital, to set standards for life and the people you allow in it.

—Mandy Hale

And more few tips!

  1. You DO NOT have to feel guilty about any of the above.
    You have a right to your feelings.
  2. You DO NOT need to explain why you feel uncomfortable or say no to any invitations.
    No is a complete sentence.
  3. You DO NOT have to feel that just because you spend holidays alone, it is a sad story. You can cuddle up reading a good book
    (My Courage toTell).
  4. You CAN set a new way of traditions.
    Try something new that will be the complete opposite of what triggers you.
  5. Give! Saint Nicholas who started Christmas went around and helped the unfortunate. That is how Christmas started. Maybe help out at an animal shelter; foster a dog/cat; volunteer at a food bank, hospital or safe house. Do you what you can.

Sending everyone I know peace and love for the holidays. You can do this!


*The Empowered Therapist