Friday, November 30, 2018

Self-Care: 4 Ways to Avoid Stressing Over the Holidays

Happy Holidays Butterflies! Holidays are supposed to be spent enjoying the ones we love but how can we do that when we’re weighed down with unnecessary holiday induced stressed?

Well, the first thing you have to do is understand that things don’t always go as planed and it’s ok if everything isn’t perfect. Then, take a deep breath, exhale the stress and get busy.

Stop procrastinating and plan ahead. This is definitely a flaw of mine. Holidays come around the same time every year, so there shouldn’t be a surprised look on our face when we realize it’s a few days away right? Nah, lol every year it’s the same “omg I can’t believe it’s the holidays already” and that’s when the stress begins. I usually wait to the last minute because 1) I’m a procrastinator lol, 2) I’m a minimalist with anxiety issues so my to-do/get list is usually kept short on purpose and 3) the good sales are usually closer to the actual holiday. However, even with keeping my to-do/get list small I still experience the holiday related anxiety that most people go through because of all the pressure to get everything done. If you’re able to, start shopping for the holidays as early as possible and saving a little from each check throughout the year should help with some of your holiday expenses. Whether you’re planning ahead or not, don’t forget to use coupons and rewards whenever possible.

Give online shopping a try. Push all your excuses as to why you don’t use technology to help you get your holiday task done and just do it. I’ve been an online shopper for years but this year for the first time I ordered online and chose in-store pickup. I’ve been skeptical about it for the longest because I have slight OCD when it comes to picking items off the shelf (I examine each item thoroughly for imperfections) but for the sake of time I gave it a try. I did run into a few issues with product availability and had to cancel and reorder but honestly I’m glad I decided to order online and pickup in-store, it’s definitely a time saver. The Elfster app and Amazon wish-list are also good ways to get the people on your list what they want without having to guess.

Don’t underestimate the thoughtfulness of gifting Gift Cards or Cash. I’m pretty much always faced with an extreme amount of anxiety when it comes to shopping for others. Honestly, I don’t even really like shopping for myself. It usually takes me way to long to decide on what to buy and then once I buy it I torture myself wondering if I made the right choice. So to eliminate any shopping related agony, I opt for gift-cards or cash when it comes to gifting. If it’s a gift for someone I know well, I gift them a gift-card to somewhere I know they would shop or cash (with something sentimental) if I know they could use it. If it’s a gift for someone I don’t know too well, then it’s a gift card to somewhere I know anyone could find something they like i.g. Target, Walmart, World Market or Starbucks. With the exception of my kid, because I know her likes and dislikes; kids get cash. I don’t believe in wasting money on a bunch of random toys for kids that they 1) didn’t ask for and 2) probably won’t remember they ever owned. Once they’re at a certain age, the gift is usually something educational, something they could wear/use, or money to save/spend.

It’s ok to do nothing. If you don’t feel up to doing anything for the holidays, don’t. It’s ok to take a year off from all the holiday chaos, the people who truly love and care about you will understand. If you can’t afford to do anything for the holidays, don’t. A holiday is just one day out the year, you still have to eat and pay’s not worth getting into debt over.

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