Happy Chocolate Day! The Easter weekend is upon us which means everyone has four days off work and school holidays are in full swing. Whilst it often means eating some yummy food and good films on the telly, it also can bring with it all of the extended family coming over for roast dinners and barbeques, armed with loads of questions and opinions about your personal life. We know all of this can be a bit overwhelming from time to time, so we have put together a quick guide to setting boundaries about loads of different things over the Easter weekend.
Revision and school work
The Easter period is a favourite with teachers all over the country for revision, and before the two-week break, you might have been told that every day during the break should be used for work. Add your Mum telling you that you have to be sociable when the family is over and that is a recipe for a row.
Setting boundaries with this is all about how confident you feel in taking the time away from your revision. If you want to schedule yourself a few days off, make up for it on the days around it. If you feel like you work better doing a few hours every day, let your family know that you are going to be ducking out for a while to tackle that mind map on Romeo and Juliet. They should understand – and if they don’t, calmly explain that you are nervous about exams and you need the extra time.
A favourite of aunties the world over. ‘Are you still single?’ ‘Why aren’t you seeing anyone?’ ‘Who is that in that picture?’ ‘How are you doing at school?’ ‘Do you have a job yet?’
Sometimes it can feel like you have to answer so many questions it’s like you are on your own personal game show, except the prize is not so much a big wad of cash but more personal questions.
Even though it might feel like you have to, you don’t have to grit your teeth and answer everything they throw at you. If questions coming your way make you feel emotional or uncomfortable for any reason, politely excuse yourself or divert the attention to something else, and take a break from it.
If this doesn’t work, try saying something polite but assertive like ‘I’m really sorry but I don’t really want to talk about it’. If you follow that up with an offer to hand them the hot cross buns or to refresh their drink, it will quickly be forgotten about.
Another thing about the long weekend is that all your friends are probably in the same boat and want to hang out with you. Whilst this might be great any other time, it can be a pretty busy period and feeling like you are pressured into spending time with them can start to get you down, and put strain on the time you do see them and the time when you don’t.
If they are asking you out again after you’ve already seen them a fair bit over the two weeks, tell them the truth. Lying about doing stuff with family when you aren’t and other half-truths will most likely end up getting you in trouble and hurting their feelings.
Same goes for if friends want to set up a study group and you feel like you work better alone. Just mention that you wanted to get a lot of work done in a short time because you are really busy and can you do it another time. If they keep pushing for a study buddy and you are still feeling a solo session, work on a subject that maybe they don’t take. That way, you are getting work done, and you can still meet them another time to run through notes on a subject you do together. Everybody wins. Yaaaaay.
Finally, a long weekend right at the end of a two week break from school can mean only one thing for certain. You get broke pretty quickly. If you haven’t already done so, give yourself a budget for the weekend and stick to it.
If you are going to hang out in town with your buddies, only take enough cash in with you to cover the activities and food for the day and leave your card at home. That way you won’t find yourself sneaking that third Frappuccino in Starbucks whilst going through your five giant Primark shopping bags, and you’ll still have money for the rest of the break. #momoneymoproblems
If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, or something is bothering you, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.