For a lot of people this week kicks off the start of the holiday season, which often coincides with overloaded schedules and more visits with family. Regardless of whether you love your family or you would rather spend time anywhere but there (wherever there is for you), many people have concerns about how to handle different conversations and take care of their mental health in this season.
Reminder: You can say “No” and it be a complete sentence.
Many of us forget that no can be a complete sentence. As a society, we are used to people giving us explanations for saying no and then having those explanations judged as valid or not. But here’s the thing - if we always say yes, our yeses can become less valuable because others assume we will always say yes. Saying no can help us build a culture of consent and teach people to honor our choices. If the thought of saying “no, thanks” feels enormous, here are some other options:
Permission slip: You have permission to choose what conversations you engage in.
There is nothing like the family table to bring up tense, heated discussions. You are hereby granted, through the power of this blog post, to remove yourself from conversations you don’t want to participate in. Not sure how to side step a conversation? Here are some ideas:
Something to Note: You get to create boundaries that work for you.
Sometimes family members have exceptions about something because “it’s always been that way”. If that works for you that is great, but sometimes old systems or expectations stop working for us as we age, grow, and create our own internal ideas. This holiday season, you can create boundaries that work for you. They could look like this:
Holidays can be hard, but they don’t have to negatively impact your mental health. You can do this! You are capable and able to stand firm in your needs — don’t underestimate your personal power and conviction.
Written by our counselors to help promote your help, hope, healing