This time of year can be magical, for the most part. This time of year can also be very stressful. With pressures of coming up with funds to purchase gifts for loved ones, friends, and pets hitting you around October. No surprise here women are even more stressed out this time of year, essentially because they are the main shoppers.
Have you ever watched the movie “Jingle All the Way?” The dad is in search of the toy that his son asked for but finds that it is more impossible to get than he realized but he does what he can to get it. Now, in real life, I like to think that we don’t act the way the character did by attacking a radio DJ in hopes of getting the toy.
Then again, I have seen events on television involving people trampling each other on Black Friday.
The point of the holidays doesn’t necessarily have to be about the “gifts”. I know it feels that way, and to be honest, that is partially the reason for the stress. But let’s be honest, after the last couple of years we have had we deserve a little magic and splurge.
Since the pandemic began, one of the groups most impacted was women. Already underpaid for their jobs before the pandemic, afterward many were forced out of the workplace due to circumstances beyond their control. Such as lack of daycare or internet connections in order to work, which resulted in lost savings, and gained debts.
Women also tend to suffer from spending guilt, something I struggle with on a day-to-day basis. For my birthday, my husband forced me to go shopping. The entire time I was so nervous and scared to shop that it took me three days to finally make a purchase.
Instantly after I bought my gifts for myself, I felt bad. My mind kept coming up with things I should have done, for instance, I should have bought shoes for my son, even though he has them, I should have bought warmer clothes for the boys instead. Again, they have warm clothes.
I’m here to tell you that you can and should be able to shop and not feel bad!
For many of us, coming up with the cash or credit to purchase presents is pretty stressful and burdensome.
3 simple ways to beat holiday stress
One of the things you can do when it comes to beating stress is to be kind to yourself. By allowing yourself time to adjust or create a plan to help you not struggle is the most important thing. Regardless of how others feel.
- Create clear goals to help you save money and only buy something that is within your budget. Don’t stress yourself when it comes to something someone wants, if you are unable to get someone “the item” they desire give them a gift card. The gift of cash is also appreciated because they will always get what they wanted, and besides if they end up purchasing the gift, you bought it together.
- You can’t please everyone. Learn to say no once in a while, you can’t please everyone, and it is your holiday as well. You deserve to feel the magic. This is also a great time of the year to practice some self-care. About this time of year, some us suffere from SAD, which you can read all about here: What is Seasonal Depression and Hygge. Take the time to enjoy the season, offer to help where you feel you can do the most good, but know you don’t have to do everything and you deserve time to yourself as well!
- Take time off! If you are able take at least five days off, and I mean take those days off. Sort of like a staycation or even go on vacation if you can. This is a time to rest, look at the future that is bright and ahead of you, to enjoy the magic and to be with those we love.
My last piece of advice is, again, to be kind to yourself, as a woman, I can tell you we often forget this. I suffer from eating remorse, spending guilt, mom guilt, the list goes on and on. I can not stress enough how it is important for you to focus more on the spirit of the holiday and not so much on elements beyond your control.
One of the ways to officially calm the stress is to focus on things you can control. Often when we feel as though things are unmanageable we tend to feel stressed and anxious. By focusing on things we can control, such as our budgets, things we choose to do, and activities we decide to partake we can reduce stress.