Holiday Boundaries

By Deborah Faust (Staff)

We are in the midst of the most engaged holiday season of the year, and it is full of beautiful lights flicking throughout our communities, familiar songs and children’s choirs singing to the heavens, family get togethers enjoying carefully prepared food – all in honor of our traditions.

For those of us that are sensitive in nature it can be unsettling.  My sensitive nature is overwhelmed with the stimuli that accompanies this season. The responsibility that comes in honoring these traditions asks me to get so much done in such a short amount of time. Feelings of anxiety over how to meet the needs of a holiday that requires me to place myself in the middle of what my sensitive soul would interpret as chaos. I have spent years dreading this time of year without a thorough understanding of why until now.

The past several years I have become intentional about developing a wellness mindset. It has involved an education on what my sensitive nature needs to achieve and maintain my sense of well-being.  In developing a wellness mindset, I became aware of my choices and most importantly how they impact my sense of well-being.

The lights, smells, loud music, parades and family gatherings challenge my sensitive nature and promote unwelcome thoughts. I am one of those people that can only handle a brief time in environments that are overstimulating. I suspect it is a byproduct of early adverse childhood experiences, and it was in developing a wellness mindset that I realized the benefits of calming environments.

Many faith leaders throughout time have encouraged us to be still and listen to our lives, and in developing a wellness mindset, I have learned how to listen to what my sensitive nature needs and enjoy a sense of well-being. Celebrations and activities are designed to bring us all together and honor of our traditions, and as long as I make choices that respect my boundaries, I will no longer dread this time of year. I am finally ready to enjoy the most engaged holiday season of the year.

Interested in reading more about having a sensitive nature click here.

Please continue to explore our website to learn more about programs, products and resources. Also visit MHANYS’ School Mental Health Resource & Training Center here.

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