Setting boundaries is a crucial part of recovery, especially during early recovery when you’re learning to get to know your new sober self. Setting boundaries allows us to prioritize our own wellbeing. It helps us define and let others know what we need (physically and emotionally), how we expect to be treated and to recognize our right to have feelings, beliefs and personal time. Setting boundaries forces us to put our recovery first and helps us to create a supportive network of people who respect our needs and desires to stay sober.
The holidays are a great time to set boundaries. Not only are we dealing with higher levels of stress and mixed emotions, but we’re also experiencing more social commitments, financial pressures, family gatherings and more temptation.
It can become easy this time of year to make unhealthy choices because “it’s the holidays.” Maybe you become lax on your exercise routine or passive with a family member in fear of ruining a special occasion with an argument. For the sake of your sobriety, however, you need to set boundaries. This will prevent you from slipping back into the unhealthy patterns you’ve worked so hard to change.
10 Healthy Holiday Boundaries
- Make time for self-awareness. Ask yourself: How am I feeling? What inspires me or makes me happy? What are my goals and priorities? The answers to these questions can help us realize what’s important and how we want to spend our time this holiday season.
- Speak up about what you want or need. For example, if you need to skip a big family gathering in lieu of a small sober get-together with one or two close friends or family members.
- Say “no” without guilt. It’s okay to turn down any invitations that could put your sobriety at risk.
- Communicate your needs. Let your family know what you can and can’t handle this holiday season and what you do and don’t expect from them.
- Be empowered to go late or leave early. It’s okay to excuse yourself if you’re uncomfortable or tired.
- Accept your feelings. We can all experience sadness, loneliness and anxiety this time of year. Do your best to acknowledge and accept these feelings and seek extra support when needed.
- Prioritize self-care. This includes your physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
- Avoid toxic friends and family. Instead, choose to spend time with people who support you and your sobriety.
- Take responsibility for your own happiness. One way to do this is to start your own sober traditions.
- Act according to your own values and beliefs. In other words, do what you know is best for you and your recovery.
We can all benefit from a little boundary setting this season! Not only will it help to safeguard your sobriety, but it will allow you to focus on the true meaning of the holidays – gratitude, spiritual traditions and family togetherness!
Teaching Families About Boundaries
As part of our family support seminars, we help you and your family work together to understand and set healthy boundaries. For more information about how Vista Taos can help you and your family begin the journey toward recovery and renewal, contact us today. Call (575) 613-4810 to learn more about our family treatment.