I am here to remind you that YOU MATTER TOO! Around the holidays, and probably more often than not, we can get so caught up on people pleasing. We end up focusing our energy outwards that we forget about our needs. This doesn't have to be so. You too matter in the grand scheme of things and need to set those boundaries, even with your family and close friends. Just because they are your family or close friends, doesn't mean you can forget about your own self care.
Give yourself permission to say NO when needed. Give yourself permission to stay home when you don't want to be around any unhealthy relationship or toxic family member, friend, co-worker, etc. It's ok if they are not feeling happy with you or are angry. What matters the most is that you are safe and not in a space of abuse, guilt, shame or fear. We can't please everyone and don't have to. Even if it is our family. It's not our job to keep people happy. It's only our job to create our own feeling of happiness and being kind as possible while doing it. There are plenty of kind ways to say NO. But ultimately, if a situation is unhealthy for you, you don't need to be in it. Caring for you is #1. Something I had to learn, once I became a mom, was balancing my boundaries with my daughter. Of course, her survival was the utmost priority, but so was mine. Balancing my care and her care was and still is the most important thing. However, it has to be transformed by the day, sometimes by the hour depending on what happens. It is my responsibility also to teach my daughter to have her own boundaries. If I don't share my boundaries with her, then she might not learn that it is ok to have them with other people.
Unfortunately, a lot of cultures have a lot of unhealthy boundaries set in place that we pick up as children. It also depends on your parents and how they set their boundaries around you. As children, we observe the behaviors that are around us and we pick up these traits for our own lives. And this is done starting at infancy. I was talking with a friend about this topic and how challenging it can be to set boundaries when you don't quite understand what healthy boundaries are. If not taught about healthy boundaries, it is challenging to have them when you grow to adulthood. And then this is something that is necessary to learn later in life. A very important lesson to learn.
So, try not to feel guilty or ashamed when you choose to say NO to those situations that are not doing you of service. It's ok to stay home and veg out instead of going to that holiday gathering, party, or event you are dreading. Know that deep down, YOU MATTER TOO and you deserve a healthy mind and healthy life.