Whether it’s the stress of wanting to create the perfect Martha Stewart holiday, or the sudden pressure to escape the angry shoppers at the store, we have seen way too many times how stress can lead to overspending—not to mention ruining our holiday fun.
So, what can you do to keep your anxiety and your spending in check this holiday season? Check out these six easy tips from relaxation guru Marlise Karlin! Marlise is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and the founder of The Simplicity of Stillness Method®. In true Fab & Fru style, it turns out you don’t have to spend a ton on meditation classes to reap the benefits of chilling out!
1. Be Aware of Your Attitude
This is what the people at the grocery store had no awareness of… they were projecting all this negative energy and, in turn, the rest of us were giving the same attitude right back!
Take a minute and acknowledge how you feel and how you’re radiating those feelings outward. If you have a positive attitude, people will not only gravitate to you, but your positivity might even help change the moods of other for the better. If you are projecting love, generosity and hope, others just may get the hint and return the sentiment. So when someone rams you with a grocery cart, smile and say, “I’m sorry! Was I in your way? Have a Happy Thanksgiving!” That ought to throw them off!
2. Get Moving
Shopping for gifts does stress us out. We get claustrophobic when the stores are so crammed with decorations, merchandise, and people, and we panic. This is not good for saving money! There have been times when we’ve ended up just grabbing random things off the shelf, instead of taking the time to look for the things on my list. What a money suck—all to get out of the store as fast as possible.
Marlise says sometimes we have so much pent up anger and frustration that we have to find ways to physically release the tension from our bodies. If necessary, change your physical location by moving away from the crowded sales rack. Go take a walk around the perimeter of the mall before making rash decisions or giving up completely. Stop and get a coffee, do some people watching, or even put some calming music on your iPod to drown out the Christmas carols. When tension, frustration, and anger starts to boil, remove yourself from the situation and get your heart pumping, so you can regain focus and finish the tasks at hand—on budget!
3. Make Choices
Picky relatives can sometimes derail a holiday. If you have an aunt who is complaining all the time, or the family is arguing over where to celebrate the day, just acknowledge that you have the ability to make your own choices and move forward in a positive way. If people are causing drama or driving you crazy, make a conscious choice to ignore it. Set your path and choose what keeps you happy. Remember: Anyone who wants to join you can, but if they want to be miserable, they can do it somewhere else. Staying happy and balanced will give you the greatest rewards—and the best holiday!
4. Smile & Laugh
Sadly, sometimes we’re in such a rush or so distracted that we need to remind ourselves to smile and enjoy the holiday season. Heart to heart conversations with friends—or even complete strangers—can change our state of mind so quickly. Talk to the sales person, the woman waiting in line, or the child visiting Santa and watch your worries fade away. One encounter with a child during the holidays can be magical and remind you what it’s really all about.
If tension mounts on the big day and your family is driving you nuts, Marlise recommends leaving the room, finding a quiet space, and taking several long, deep breaths. Refocus your attention away from the negativity and focus on breathing deeply and exhaling slowly. With each breath, reflect on what is most meaningful to you in life and allow positive thoughts to calm you down. You will feel less overwhelmed, and you’ll be able to reenter the chaos with renewed energy and a new perspective.
6. Gift Yourself
Now that’s what we’re talking about! We exhaust ourselves trying to find the perfect gift, or plan the perfect meal, to please our friends and family and we often end up neglecting ourselves! When you budget for the holidays, don’t forget to include something for yourself. Buy a new dress or treat yourself to a new haircut. If you feel good about yourself inside and out, it’s just a tiny bit easier to smile politely when Aunt Bertha asks you for the millionth time “Why aren’t you married yet?”
We’re not saying it’s easy, but don’t you agree that the best gift you could give yourself—and those around you—this holiday season is a dose of grace and serenity? Take a moment to shut your eyes and breathe…people around you might just be so shocked to see someone looking relaxed that it will throw them off their game, and you can cut ahead of them in line!
Tell us in the comments: What's the most trying part of your holiday season?