An overall theme I have been noticing is boundaries or lack of boundaries. With the holidays upon us, people have been struggling with issues concerning family, friends, trauma, loss, grief, etc. The holiday season brings up many emotions for people, the good, the bad and the ugly. How do we manage and cope with all those emotions?
Some people overindulge in food or alcohol to cope. Others shut down and set no clear boundaries or expectations. Others explode with anger because they are feeling overwhelmed or triggered. Whatever the reason, it is up to you, but practicing self-love and protecting your peace is a positive way to cope. To do this one must set boundaries for themselves and others. Boundaries are not to keep people out; they are to keep you safe and protected. This is all a process, sometimes boundaries can be too rigid and unattainable other times they can be too porous and dangerous to self. Think of boundaries on a spectrum and work toward finding balance in the middle.
Often, we try to get people to see things our way or change their behavior to suit our boundaries, but that’s not going to work. All we have to do is experience people; not relate to them. What I mean by this, is that everyone has their own perspective of all aspects of life, it is not our job to get people to change or see things our way, that is their experience. We must be open to experiencing others while keeping our own self safe and secure.
If we don’t like the way someone is acting toward us or talking to us, we can’t change them, but we can change our actions and behavior. We can disengage, we can remove ourselves, and we can practice a positive coping skill that keeps us balanced. By doing these things and setting these boundaries people will experience you differently, that’s where change comes.
About Jessica Carroll:
As a recent Graduate from Capella University’s Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, Jessica is now a Resident in working toward state licensure for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Jessica is an active member of the Chi Sigma Iota International Honor Society of Professional Counseling, as well as the American Counseling Association.
Jessica received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services Counseling in 2004. She has 14 years of experience working in the counseling field. This includes working in a group home for severely abused and neglected children with an array of behavioral diagnoses. Jessica has also worked with adolescents with substance abuse concerns. Jessica is familiar with depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD as well as, mental health skill building, life coaching, parent partnership, and crisis intervention. To learn more about Jessica, visit HERE.