Health & Happiness: Create Holiday Boundaries

By Camille Keithbrg_logo_stacked

The holiday season has begun, which generally means more gatherings with friends and family. While spending time with family can be enjoyable, it may also bring added stress. When we spend more time with family it can be easy to put their needs ahead of our own. We may feel pressure to spend time with family members, but it’s also important to make some time to take care of ourselves as well.

Creating boundaries can help you enjoy the time you spend with your loved ones, instead of feeling overwhelmed by trying to do too much. For example, you may enjoy having your loved ones over for dinner, but you don’t have room for them to spend the night at your house. Take some time to reflect on your boundaries, and notice where you are willing to be flexible if needed. When you are clear with yourself, you can more clearly communicate with others.

You may also feel uncomfortable enforcing your boundaries, especially if you haven’t done it before. Remember that boundaries help everyone understand what the rules are. When everyone has an idea of what’s going to happen and what’s expected of them, they are free to enjoy themselves without worrying about whether they are doing the wrong thing.

Setting boundaries with family and friends can be challenging at any time, but especially during the holidays it may be harder to say no. Counseling can help you be more assertive and create healthier boundaries.

Camille Keith, MS, NCC is an LPC Intern under the supervision of Tara Sanderson PsyD, and provides individual counseling to help you clarify your values and maintain your sense of self in relationships. For more information, call (971) 295-1547 or visit