Hello, October! I can’t believe I just said those words! October means the holidays are right around the corner and … wow … I’m not sure I’m ready for that!
Ready or not, fall is here and time goes quickly whether we want it to or not.
I don’t know about you, but when I think about the holidays, I experience mixed emotions. There are countless family obligations and an overabundance of social gatherings to plan. The kids have school events and parties, and I start to think about decorations, gifts, and big family dinners. If there’s any time of year that really flies by, these next few months are it.
You may as well enjoy it!
For many people, the holiday season is anxiety-inducing. Oftentimes, it’s all just too overwhelming. Not only are you balancing the extra festivities, but you’re also focused on keeping your life and jobs running smoothly. There’s nothing worse than coming out on the other side and realizing you’ve totally let work slide.
Good news, this doesn’t have to be your story!
The key to enjoying your time during the holidays lies in establishing effective boundaries – and executing them. Without a solid plan, it’s not hard for all hell to break loose! When that happens, you end up taking a major step backward when it comes to your personal freedom and overall happiness.
Why It Matters
Let’s face it; a calendar full of social gatherings can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Does your schedule ever get so full that you have absolutely no time for yourself? I know I’ve been there plenty of times. Unfortunately, the result is usually overwhelm, anxiety, and a general ‘bah humbug’ feeling. When you stretch yourself too thin, you don’t enjoy yourself. Period. This feeling easily carries over into your professional life too.
This is why creating and honoring your boundaries is so important.
The first thing to do when it comes to guarding your happiness is to identify what you want.
No, really. What do you actually want?
Ask yourself these questions:
- How many social gatherings do you actually want to attend?
- Which days do you want to leave wide open in order to maintain some flexibility?
- How do you want to spend the extra time you DO actually have?
- Are you more content spending time alone or with a friend?
- What is the most important professional goal you have that you also want to keep at the forefront?
These are all questions that will help you identify the most important parts of your life and prioritize them during this busy season. If it’s important to you – big or small – it’s worth focusing on. The fact of the matter is, when you’re clear about what really matters to you, it’s so much easier to stick to and execute a plan.
Communicate with Others
Boundaries only work when you communicate them with the people around you.
So the next step is to be completely honest with your loved ones and work colleagues. If your partner has family obligations that don’t fit into your schedule, talk about it with them and come up with a plan that works for you both. If your team member is asking about a project that isn’t doable for you, be open about that and offer an alternative, if possible.
Honesty about what you need to keep yourself sane through this time of year will help keep your relationships and business on track.
So go ahead (yes, right now!) and decide where you want to focus your time and energy. This season can be full of obligations, but the choice is completely yours! You just need to take the time to plan.
Oh, and one last thing … The Power of “No”
Learning to say “no” is one of the best practices of self-care; it can also be the hardest. Saying “no” is often perceived as a selfish action, but it’s really not selfish at all. If you’re taking care of yourself first, you will be able to give and do so much more. The holidays are about giving and caring for others; however, standing firm on what you need can make all the difference. Be honest with those around you. Stand strong in the power of knowing what you need. I think you’ll be surprised at how supportive and understanding people can be when you explain how you feel. (I hope so, anyway.
By establishing even the simplest of boundaries, you’re setting yourself up to enjoy a more relaxing and pleasant holiday season.
You do have the power to take control, even during a time that can feel like a total whirlwind.
If you’d like to dive deeper into how setting effective boundaries can transform your life, please reach out. Boundaries are my favorite topic!