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Can You Reduce Stress This Black Friday?

Is the stress worth it?

Who doesn’t love a good deal? Black Friday, or the Friday after Thanksgiving, usually goes down as the busiest shopping day of the year. For some, a marked down price tag makes the crowds and early alarm clock hardly worth a second thought. But for others, the high expectations, current debt, or lack of time makes this tradition trigger a migraine. Take a moment to ask yourself, is Black Friday worth the stress on your mind and body? Or can you reduce stress this Black Friday?

Though originally meant to trigger our “fight or flight” instinct, stress can cause lasting damage on the body. The ever more common chronic stress can even incur an increased heart rate, higher cholesterol levels, and elevated blood pressure. Identifying activities, reactions, or hurdles during this holiday season can help you avoid or at least reduce stress.

Are you setting yourself up for stress this holiday season?

Sales don’t end on Black Friday. Cyber Monday, the less stressful cousin to Black Friday, offers many of the same sales; ones you can get from the comfort of your own house. Having no crowd-fighting required is an easy way to reduce stress. As many items continue to decrease in price into the holiday season or become available online, spread out your sales opportunities.

Set a budget. Before you go out to buy your gifts or stock up on food, set your budget. And stick to it. Don’t attempt to buy your family or friend’s happiness through expensive gifts. Often, stress can come from maxed-out credit card bills or expended budgets. Decide how much money you can spend and build your list around that amount.

Stay Realistic. People set unrealistic expectations this time of year. Don’t rack your brain coming up with the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Try asking them directly what they would like, create a homemade gift, or suggest participating in an event together instead. This will save you time and reduce stress.

Keep up your fitness. There will be plenty of opportunities to forgo your workout and load up on sweets. Try to reserve time for exercise to help reduce stress levels. If you have family or friends visiting, suggest a group walk, try an exercise class together, or park far from the store when shopping. And don’t give in to stress eating. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties to keep from filling up on the unhealthy spread.

Taking a timeout during this whirlwind time of the year can not only reduce stress levels, but help you better enjoy the holidays. Before you set that Black Friday alarm clock or find yourself overly-frustrated with a family member, consider if the stress is worth it. Likely, it isn’t.

How do you reduce stress during this season? Tell us below in the comments.

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