Providing Space for Yourself Through the Holidays
What does it mean to provide space for yourself? It’s really about boundaries. The holidays are full of all kinds of different experiences and interactions with various people. We have some serious history with some of these people (our family members). Other times, we’re meeting new people during the holidays. With all of this comes expectation.
We all have a couple of layers of protection that surrounding us. These are our boundaries. For example, if someone impedes on your space, it can feel like your skin is crawling. This is because they’ve actually stepped into your boundaries system before you’ve invited them there. Let me illustrate it here, because boundaries can always be a little tricky to understand.
As you can see with this image, it’s almost as if there are 2 fields of energy around us. They are there to protect us. When we’re interaction with another person, we have that space to protect us and give us the room we need to gather our own thoughts and make our own decisions.
As you can see by this picture, there are 2 people here interaction, giving each other space. They’re literally giving each other space, but they’re also giving each other emotional space as well. It looks like they’re just interacting, with few pressures or expectations.
During the holidays, all of this can change. You can interact with all kinds of different people, who have all kinds of different needs, boundary limits and expectations.
There are also a lot of people in close proximity too. It can be a lot to manage.
Some of us are really good at building up that outermost layer of boundary to take care of ourselves. In those situations, the holidays aren’t often as overwhelming. For others of us, that outer layer may not be as solid. If this is true for you, then you need to give yourself a little more space. This might mean creating a plan to get out of the house. Maybe you can the person to run to the store to get last minute food items. Maybe the family dog needs a quick walk around the block. Those are just a couple of examples of ways you can give yourself some space.
You might be able to share your needs with a family member you trust too. The bottom line is that it’s important to protect yourself at all times of the year. The holidays are no different. Think about these layers of protective energy that are around you and decide what you need to take care of yourself during your family get togethers. You’ll recover faster after the holidays have passed. And you’ll have good practice for the other times of the year that aren’t quite as intense.