Prioritizing Your Heart During the Holidays

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us. Box stores are ready. Hallmark is always ready. Your in-laws probably want you to be ready. Christmas cards are ready to be ordered. The boss is getting the office party ready.

But, are you ready?

Do the big box stores threaten your sanity? Do you stand at their grand sliding doors praying you can make it out without tears?

Are your parents and in-laws asking for travel plans, asking for your itinerary so grandma and all the cousins can inundate you with questions about the last year and about when you’re going to give great-grandma another great grandchild?

What about those holiday cards? To send or not to send that is the question. Perhaps you’re wondering if you should even send them this year because it’s just you and your partner. Again. “Do people even want to see that”, you wonder.

Then you have to worry about being the recipient of holiday cards? Baby announcements. Pregnancy announcements. Baby’s first Christmas. You wonder if they’re even worth opening. (Ps…you don’t have to if you don’t want to)

Then come the party invitations. Office parties, ugly sweater parties, cookie exchanges. Parties galore. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, remember?

As we look toward the holidays and all that is expected of us, we often say “should,” “have to” and “need to.”

When you look at all that is expected of you this holiday, let me ask: Do you really have to?

Here’s what I want you to do? Get a piece of paper and do the following exercise?

Write down 2-3 things that are a non-negotiable for the year.

Ex: I have to go home to my parents house.

Ex: I have to go see great-grandma at the nursing home.

Write down 2-3 things that are negotiable.

Ex: Going to the office holiday party this year would be a good look for me but there are triggers everywhere. Last year I left crying. This year, I don’t really want to go.

Ex: We probably should go to our niece’s Christmas performance at Preschool. I need to see how I feel that evening before I make any promises.

Write down 2-3 areas that you can implement a boundary and not “should” on yourself.

Ex: My old college roommates invited me over for when they get all their kids together. That’s too much this year. I’m not going.

Ex: People expect us to send a holiday card but I don’t think I want to.

I am loving this quote from Brene Brown as we look towards the holidays this year. She said, “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”

How can you love yourself this holiday season with the gift of boundaries?

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Cathie Quillet, LMFT

Cathie Quillet, LMFT

Founder of The Quillet Institute
Infertility and Pregnancy Loss Therapist
Mom to Four Miscarried Babies

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