There was a time when the act of shopping and buying was an attempt to escape my adrenal fatigue. I now label it retail therapy. And I had a beautiful reason for retail therapy during the holidays. The idea of shopping seemed to momentarily distract me from my anxiety and fatigue. Even though sometimes I could develop enough momentum and energy to go shopping, and the act of shopping seemed to provide an hour of temporary relief, in the end I would be even more exhausted, wiped out, and filled with anxiety all over again.
During the holidays everyone is stressed because we are forced to buy many things in a very short time. Sometimes we make compulsive purchases and spend more money than we planned. Even online shopping can be a stressful experience because of the anxiety caused taking a chance on buying unseen products, and it is easy to forget money spent when using a charge card.
Because of the myriad of marketing information that hits us from all directions – television, radio, the internet, music, etc. – we have been sold on the idea if we gather more and more material goods around us, or if we are extravagant givers, we will feel extraordinarily happy. Yet, through this process of giving or getting everything we thought would make us happy, we can become unusually anxious and even depressed. We don’t feel better, we feel extraordinary anxiety – even those who do not suffer from adrenal fatigue will suffer with what some call the Holiday Blues.
There are many pointers that can be given to avoid shopping stress: shop early, shop late, shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, or don’t shop at all. The thought I really like is one that is actually applied to time management. What gifts would you eliminate if you had half the time to shop? Then decide what gifts can be eliminated if you cut your budget in half. It is a good way to start, and if you go over budget, you are still under budget. You can indulge in retail therapy and escape the Holiday Blues.