Pandemic Holiday Survival: Principles for Setting Boundaries and Meaningful Connection
We rely on the holidays to reconnect with the people who are most important to us and now we can’t in ways that feel right. And that’s hard. Really hard.
As painful and often irritating as it is, life’s most challenging moments compel us to make decisions about how we want to show up in life. But often we can struggle to find our path. Principles show us the path clearly because they drive our decisions and actions.
Here are some principles we think are the most important to keep with us as we go through this challenging Holiday week.
Creating and maintaining meaningful connection is essential to our emotional wellness. Throughout this year we have been separated from others we care about and simultaneously surrounded by a political election that drives us apart. Disconnection hurts our hearts and minds. Meaningful connection repairs them and gives us the strength and capacity to survive hard times.
Defining and communicating personal boundaries is essential to treating yourself and others with dignity.
Boundaries empower us to make brave choices that help us feel safe. They help our relationships feel supportive and steady. Even when we feel like communicating our boundaries make others upset, when people can see that you are treating them with dignity, the relationship can be transformed for the better.
Be easy on people, hard on ideas.
Everyone has a journey that got them to this moment and that journey informs how they see the world and how they interact with others. This principle doesn’t give people the freedom to take others’ dignity away. As James Baldwin said, “We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” However, using this principle does give you the ability to acknowledge the person in front of you; and that makes it easier for them to do the same.
This week, we ask you to use these principles to make decisions about how you share this holiday with your loved ones.
If you need to establish boundaries with a family member, do so with dignity so you feel safe.
If there is a person in your life that you have grown apart from because of something either of you have posted on social media, reach out to them by text or a call with this simple message: I know our relationship has suffered because of social media and politics. I just want you to know I care about you, I’m thinking about you, and I hope you are well.
Be well and take good care of yourself and your loved ones.
We know how challenging this can be, so we have pulled 6 essential Tiny Guides: Boundaries, Self-Compassion, Anxiety, Emotional Hijacking, Learned Helplessness, and Self-Regulation to create the Pandemic Holiday Survival Tiny Guides bundle.
This originally appeared in our newsletter Communiquette.