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Boundaries are an essential part of recovery. You probably established firm boundaries after treatment to help ensure you do not find yourself in situations you aren’t yet ready to face. Boundaries help you to navigate relationships and better manage your triggers. You may find that, on average, you manage your boundaries very well and that other people surround you with respect and understand what your goals are.

However, you may find that boundaries become more challenging to follow and enforce on unusual days like holidays or birthdays. With the holidays approaching, now is the time to start preparing and thinking about how you will manage your boundaries and stay safe. Here are a few different suggestions to get you started.

It Is Okay to Need Time Alone

The holidays get busy. You may find your schedule packed and your typical routine changed. Changes can be hard to work through. Remember that alone time is perfectly okay. You can still choose to spend time alone and do calming activities even though it is the holiday season.

You worked hard to learn more about your mental health. Everyone is unique, and you will need to do what is best for your mental health and sobriety. You can listen to your loved one’s suggestions, but ultimately you need to place your mental health first. Work with a mental health professional to gain a better plan for your alone time through the holidays. A plan in place ahead of time will help you develop a schedule that works best for you.

Be Clear and Concise

If you will be spending time with people who you typically do not spend time with, it is fair to say that they may not know much about your recovery or the boundaries you have in place. Be clear and direct about what you need from other people. Talk openly about what you will not accept and what behaviors or actions you do not want to be around.

Disagreements and fights often happen when there is a miscommunication. Do not assume other people understand your journey. If you can be open and clear about what you need from other people, it will help you to better understand those relationship dynamics and which relationships are not healthy for you. If someone does not respect your boundaries, they may not be a person that is safe to be around at this stage of your recovery.

Disengage From Conversations That Make You Uncomfortable

You do not need to participate in conversations that make you feel uncomfortable. You also do not need to talk about your recovery with anyone that you do not want to. You are in control of what you share and who you share it with. Never feel as if you owe someone an explanation for your sobriety, recovery, or boundaries.

When you begin to realize that you hold that control, you will discover how strong you are. Recovery is an amazing time filled with exploration and growth. Finding your inner strength and self-worth are priceless. Holidays are fun times, filled with a lot of various people, yet holidays can be stressful. Remember that even through stressful and busy times, you hold power over your recovery.

It Is Okay to Not Attend Parties or Events

Saying no is a significant part of recovery. If you do not want to attend every event or party you are invited to, that is perfectly okay. Understanding your limits is a large part of successfully managing your mental health.

Busy times can be stressful. For some, feeling overly busy can result in overwhelming anxiety and stress. Learning to understand your limits will help you to navigate the holidays. Plan ahead and develop a schedule that works for you. Be open about what you feel you cannot attend or do over the holidays. Those that love you will understand your limits.

Create a Game Plan

Having a game plan will help you feel prepared and relaxed as the holidays begin. Understanding your mental health will help you to better understand what you need to prepare for. Some people may find that writing the dates of parties and events down on a calendar eases stress and anxiety. Others may find that talking to hosts ahead of time about what to expect at a party can be beneficial.

Everyone is on an individual journey, and always remember that it is okay to do whatever you need to do to keep your sobriety safe and your mental health managed. If you are unsure about where to start to feel more prepared, work with a mental health provider. They will be able to work with you to discover the best plan for your specific journey and goals.

Managing your boundaries during the holiday season can be challenging. Everyone is on a unique journey and will prepare for the holidays in their own way. Take time to think about your goals and what may be triggering throughout this busy and fun time. Some may find it beneficial to create a game plan and prepare for upcoming events and parties. Others may need to practice being clear and direct with others about setting boundaries. Try to remember that it is okay to say no to parties and spend some time alone. Do what works best for you. Here at The Guest House, we understand that everyone is facing unique challenges. We are trained to help you along your recovery journey, regardless of what stage you are in. You do not need to face these challenges alone. Call us today to learn more about how we can support you at (855) 483-7800.