Healthy boundaries are important regardless of what time of year it is. They help us to define what behaviors from others are acceptable and what behaviors might lead to feelings of distress or a sense of being violated. They also help us establish a framework around treating one another in a way that’s mutually respectful.

Sometimes we throw boundaries right out the window during the holidays because of all the added commitments and social pressures. But if we do this we’ll only find ourselves dissatisfied with relationships and disappointed with ourselves.

Common ways to cross healthy boundaries are: making unhealthy choices because after all “it’s Christmas” or not speaking up when someone violates a boundary because you don’t want to make a special get together “awkward.” We also tend to cross boundaries by doing so much for others that we neglect to take care of ourselves and that can quickly turn into being martyr—a gift that parents often bestow on children when they have “done all the work while their kids have done nothing but make a mess.”

Here are a few tips to keeping healthy boundaries in place this holiday:

  1. Live out of your values and beliefs. Remember why you are celebrating.
  2. Ask for what you want or need instead of expecting others to read your mind.
  3. Spend time with people who are supportive and loving.
  4. Acknowledge your feelings, even when they’re messy and you can’t “fix” it.
  5. God gave us the greatest gift of all in Jesus. Take time to receive and give that same grace to yourself and others.

Scripture:

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

Next Steps:

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The Mental Health Academy is here to take the mystery away, and give you the knowledge and the tools you need to have relationships that last! No more confusion or wondering how you’ll face the roller coaster of life with mental illness.

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