AND it’s the time of gratitude and thanksgiving.
Let’s acknowledge all of “this” can be stressful and overwhelming.
Can we be grateful AND say no to have healthy boundaries?
YES, you can!
AND you get to!
- a positive reframe of I have to, I need to, I should.
How to be grateful and say no.
1. Take a moment to lean into being grateful and thankful
- Utilize the 5 Things Gratitude Exercise - click here
- What are you most thankful for?
- What does gratitude look like to you?
- Who do you want to thank?
2. How do you wish to express gratitude and thanksgiving?
3. How would you like to be thanked?
4. Take time to discern healthy boundaries you need. It’s a strong resilience skill!
Healthy boundaries = Saying yes to what you want to and NO to what you don’t want, while mitigating toxic people and environments.
With the theme of No November. Think of what you’d like to say no to.
A few of the benefits of Healthy boundaries:
- Taking care of you by loving and honoring yourself and others.
- Build confidence
- Leads to greater compassion
- Reduces anger, resentment, frustration and negativity
- Build positivity and happiness
- Increases peace and safety
How to plan and start saying “NO” and setting boundaries for the holidays
1. Evaluate the upcoming holiday season and the events, traditions, travel and gatherings.
a. What brings you joy and love?
b. What brings you stress and negativity?
2. Next evaluate your calendar and schedule with energy, time, travel, and rest included.
a. What do you want to say Yes to?
b. What do you want to say No to?
3.Triggers – be aware of them and make a mitigation plan.
a. If X gets drunk and obnoxious, I’m leaving the room.
b. If the conversation turns to X hot topic, I will not engage.
c. If __ happens, I’ll respectfully remove myself.
4.Practice Soft No and Hard No’s
Soft no’s – leaves room for a possible yes & can be easier
- Say no, not this year.
- Say no, not now.
- I have to check my calendar.
- Maybe later.
- I’m exhausted, let’s talk in a couple hours.
- Let’s discuss this later.
Hard No’s – firm but kind
- No. -It’s a complete sentence & requires no justification.
- No, I need to take care of myself.
- No, I’m setting personal boundaries.
- No, I’ve got other plans. (you don’t need to explain)
- No, I appreciate the invite and offer but I’m not going to make it.
- No thank you.
5. Want to say No but just “can’t / won’t” options
Those challenging times, people and events that no feels too much. Too hard to say no, feels awkward, you might also be wresting with what the ask is.
- Say yes to what you want to without saying. No.
- Thank you I’m coming for X (30min, 1 hour, deserts, starters, main meal)
Define a time frame that will work for you and let the host know.
- Maybe, let me get back to you by ____ date/time.
- I need to check with my calendar/other person
- I can bring a pie over for deserts and visit for a bit.
- Yes, and I’m setting this boundary for my visit- share the boundary
How to set boundaries for healthy living and happier times
- Determine your boundaries – see this article I wrote on how to set them.
- Communicate your boundary with love, grace and respect with the host/family friend. i. I may need to step out or leave to take care of myself.
then I will (how you will take care of yourself)
iii. I’m taking care of myself this year and I need ___.
iv. If I leave the room and take a walk by myself it’s not personal, it’s for my health.
When the boundary is overstepped - Stay firm and stand your ground with your boundaries
a. Repeat your boundary without emotion & respectfully
b. Don’t engage
c. You do not need to explain or justify yourself
d. Remove yourself from the room, place, situation.
More tips for setting boundaries with friends and families - Click Here
When there’s been changes in the family dynamics – deaths, divorce, illness …
Tips for survival and navigating the change. – Click here
Strategies for family time and the holidays -10 more strategies
Please do be grateful and express thanksgiving. Please also create healthy boundaries and say NO. It’s No November after all. Make space for yourself and be mindful of how you spend the time, energy and your interactions.
I plan extra quiet time in between gatherings and events. I’m working towards being comfortable with no, stating my boundaries and saying no while expressing gratitude and thankgiving.
May you be grateful AND set healthy boundaries for you and your loved ones. I hope you feel more comfortable setting your boundaries and practicing saying no in November.
I wish you and yours the most blessed November and holiday season.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please like, comment, and share!
Peace, Love, and Blessings,
Teresa – leaning into saying No and being mindful with boundaries while being grateful
Teresa Q. Bitner, M.Ed., PMP, PCC - Resiliency, Change and Loss Coach
Partnering with those who have been knocked down my life and want to build resiliency and move forward and live a bold life.
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