Long lines, big crowds, and heavy traffic can make holiday shopping incredibly stressful. Take the strain out of buying gifts this year with these nine foolproof ways to relax when holiday shopping.
1. Make a List
Know what to buy everyone before you head out to the store. If you are struggling to come up with the perfect gift for someone, scroll through their social media for clues on favorite items or interests. Jot down the list on your phone so that you can find it easily. Don’t forget to include stocking stuffers and workplace gifts, as well as those for friends and family.
2. Set a Budget
Stress can creep up on you after holiday shopping is over when the credit card bill arrives and you experience shopper’s remorse. Stop stress from ruining your holidays by setting a budget and sticking to it! Allocate a set amount per gift per person, including wrapping paper and cards.
3. Take Deep Breaths
For some, extremely crowded stores and malls can cause anxiety. A quick and easy way to calm yourself during the holiday shopping rush is with some deep-breathing techniques. Abdominal breathing is a proven method to reduce your blood pressure and heart rate and can help you find a few minutes of peace between stores.
Place your hands on your belly on either side of your navel, breathe in through your nose and let your belly fill up like a balloon. Exhale with pursed lips, letting your belly deflate slowly. Repeat 5-10 times for a serene sense of calm.
4. Get a Foot Rub
After a day of running around different stores, nothing is more relaxing than a good foot rub. Most massage parlors or nail salons can give you a short foot rub without an appointment. There are even some malls that offer massage services in local malls. Usually, you will find a small area where a team of massage therapists is offering chair massages, right in the middle of the mall concourse, for as little as $20 for 15 minutes. It’s a nice way to get some relaxation and relief of muscle soreness during a day out.
5. Put the Pressure On
There are several pressure points located around the body associated with stress. Applying pressure to these points can help to relax your body. One of the easiest pressure points to find, and access is found at the fleshy point between your index finger and your thumb. Massage this place for a couple of minutes for instant relief.
Holiday shopping takes a lot of energy, so don’t forget to refuel throughout the day. Stop every 45-60 minutes for a comforting tea or snack break. The best way to boost your energy is with healthy snacks like fruit salads or smoothies. Save the sweet treats and fast food for the holiday celebrations.
Certain scents such as lavender, lemon, or jasmine can induce a feeling of calm. For a quick stress-buster while holiday shopping, carry a roller of relaxing essential oil in your purse and dab a little on your wrists and behind your ears.
8. Make a Shopping Playlist
Music can have a huge effect on your mood and stress levels and may reduce blood pressure and lower stress hormone levels. While stores love to pump up the holiday hits to put shoppers in a festive spirit, this music can become irritating and increase your level of stress.
9. Go Online
If crowded shopping centers and big crowds are just too much to handle, online shopping is an excellent alternative to get your holiday shopping done from the comfort of your own home.
Online retailers offer incredible discounts and even free delivery during the holidays. Best of all, you can have your gifts delivered right to your door, so there is no need to navigate parking lots or holiday traffic.
Don’t let the stress of holiday shopping get the better of you. Try some of these helpful stress-busting techniques for a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday season.