Thanksgiving is over and holiday shopping season has kicked into high gear. Are you headed to the mall – or, even better – a series of local stores today? Some of us can’t wait to go shopping but others are filled with apprehension at the mere thought of the crowds. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by the holidays already, or you just want to get through your excursion with a smile, here are some ideas to help you stay on track:
1. It’s hard to spend the day shopping if you’re tired! Get a good night’s sleep and set your alarm. Stretch while you’re still in bed and start your day with at least 20 minutes of movement and 20 minutes reading or listening to something joyful (not the morning news). I love HOOPLA, a free app that allows you to enter your library card number and borrow 6 free audio books per month. I choose inspiring books and listen in the car to keep me feeling positive and empowered.
2. Before you leave the house, make a list of what you want to accomplish. Include everyone you’re shopping for that day, what you intend to get them, and how much you’ve budgeted for the purchase.
3. Do a bit of pre-shopping. Use your computer to find out which stores have the best prices for your intended purchases, and which offer price-matching or coupons you can print and tuck in your bag.
4. Plan your route. Start at the farthest destination. With every stop, you’ll be working your way back home again.
5. Dress comfortably for your big day out. Layer your clothing and leave your bulky coat in the car. Wear a pair of comfortable walking shoes or warm boots.
6. Avoid temptation at the food court. Keep a bottle of water and a handful of nuts or some fruit in your purse. It’s easy to make self-defeating diet choices when you let yourself get too hungry or thirsty and those sugary mall coffees can contribute to irritability, inflammation and fatigue when the initial burst of energy wears off.
7. Bring a big tote or backpack to carry smaller items. Not only will this help you consolidate and keep track of your purchases, but it’s environmentally friendly, too.
8. Park at the back end of the parking lot. You’ll save time by not circling for a prized spot near the door, and you’ll get some extra steps in your day.
9. Invite a friend to join you for all or part of your day and allocate some time to connect over lunch or a quiet cup of tea.
As Piglet says to Winnie the Pooh, “It’s so much more friendly with two”.