Tips on beating Christmas Shopping Stress
As Christmas comes ever closer, the rush to get everything that you need from presents to food and supplies can be quiet stressful.
While online shopping for gifts has reduced somewhat the need to visit overcrowded malls, it is always going to be necessary to get out and shop for some items so that you can get back home to your family as quickly as possible.
Here are a few tips on beating Christmas Shopping Stress.
The early bird catches the worm. As the recession continues to bite, shops are starting the sales weeks in advance. Shopping in the first weeks of December is a lot more fun than on the 23rd. So do not put off what you can do today. Another risk with leaving gift purchases late is that the gifts that you want might have run out of stock. The caveat to this is that you can maybe pick up some items in the post Christmas sales at a significantly cheaper rate.
Plan your shopping trip. Make a list of all the gifts and supplies that you need. Write down the shops that you’ll get them in. If you go in without a list, you’ll find that impulse shopping can take over and you’ll fill that cart right up with junk food. Also pay in cash, if you have just a little more than needed for the items in the list, you are not going to be facing a nasty credit card bill in January.
Weekends. Everyone decides to head out shopping on Saturday and Sunday for their gifts. If you want to have a cattle stampede free shopping experience go during the week or early on a weekend morning. After 1 o’Clock is just inviting a migraine.
Proof of Purchase. Keeping everyone happy is a real challenge and is sometimes an impossibility. I strongly suggest that you keep the shopping receipts just in case junior or your husband does not like their Christmas gift. There is nothing more stressful than realizing that the gift you paid hard earned money for, cannot go back because you lost the receipt. That is guaranteed to send the heart racing.
Manage Expectations. Don’t let yourself or your family be worked in to a frenzy by the media and the hype that is now part of Christmas. If you have to cut back on presents let the kids know what is going on. I remember getting a note from Santa in the 70’s, saying how he was finding the recession tough so I’d have to share a present with my brother this year. I know times are different now but if you explain things to people it will makes sense to them, if not immediately, then down the line.
It’s Christmas. Gifts are just material possessions, they are fun to get but they aren’t as important as family and friends. They can never beat quality time together and they certainly are not worth getting in to debt over.
Take 20 minutes before you set out to clear your mind and just concentrate on the flow of your breath, in and out. Let thoughts come and go as you continue to focus and refocus on your breath as necessary.
This practice quickly reduces stress levels, heart rate and serotonin levels, serotonin is the chemical in the brain that makes us feel pleasure and well.
Also by starting out with a time of relaxation, you are stamping your control over the trip. The 1st step out the door should not be one filled with tension or anxiety, because the 2nd one will be then as well. Break the cycle and you’ll find you are going with a plan in mind, a mission and that focus will get you through the day.
I hope that you and yours have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year.
Image by *Imperialis*.
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