Rich Perry

STRENGTH & FOCUS: 7 tips for an enjoyable holiday shopping experience

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Greetings, friends,

I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was plentiful and filled with many new memories. Hopefully you enjoyed last week’s topic of feeling and expressing gratitude, and maybe you were able to appreciate your blessings just a little more and/or recognize something new that you hadn’t noticed until now.

This week’s installment will be short but extremely beneficial, especially to those brave souls standing alongside other eager shoppers in lines that curve and bend every which way, all for the purpose of getting that perfect gift. While I personally prefer to shop local and support smaller businesses, I know that some items are usually only available at larger stores, and I’ve certainly stood in my fair share of lines.

Media sources and retail experts frequently offer tips for safety, gift ideas, shopping strategies, and ways to find the best discounts, among many other helpful suggestions. I assure you, I am not now nor have I ever claimed to be a retail expert, so I have no advice to offer in this department. However, in the spirit of the holiday season, I thought I’d offer a few suggestions. This list will be short and simple, and if you follow along, it might even ensure your name stays on the “nice list.”

Fa la la la LIST la la la la

1. Take care of yourself.

If you plan on being out all day, or even for a few hours, take care of yourself. Get a good night’s rest, make sure you eat, and drink plenty of water.

“But why? I’m just shopping.”

Exactly! Any energy-consuming activity can leave us depleted, and poor sleeping or eating habits can cause feelings of stress and irritability. Unless you want to be the Grinch, make sure you take care of yourself.

2. Set a positive intention.

Choose something positive and motivating to get you through your shopping adventure. What is a good thought that you can hold on to that will support an enjoyable shopping experience? It should be something encouraging. Think of the person you are shopping for, the look on their face when they open the gift, seeing the faces of loved ones that you haven’t seen in a while – anything positive.

3. Remember what you are doing.

You’re in the process of buying a gift to give to someone as a token of your love and friendship. You’re doing something thoughtful and caring for someone else. You’re spending time and energy giving a gift to someone that is special to you, and this gift is an extension of your thoughts and feelings about this person. So remember this person. Thoughtful and caring gifts should have similar emotions attached to them.

4. Breathe.

Let’s be honest, unless you know the secret password, you have insider knowledge of the stores, and you can avoid traveling on the roads, then you’re probably going to be waiting in line or sitting in traffic (or both) for an extended period of time. So breathe! Take long, calming breaths to relax your mind and body. Healthy and focused breathing will produce a relaxed state.

Consider this: If you’re going to be waiting in line or sitting in traffic for 10, 15, or 30+ minutes at a time, would you rather be in a calm and relaxed state or frustrated and stressed out? It’s your time, so make the best of it.

5. Be considerate of others.

Remember the other customers are people just like you and they want the same thing – to give a gift to someone they care about. Be kind to each other. Be courteous to workers and retail staff, as they are working long hours to satisfy the needs of hundreds of shoppers a day. They may not have all the answers, and the store may not have the items you are looking for, but I assure you that your holiday and the holiday of the gift receiver will still be enjoyable. Be considerate.

6. Be grateful.

Yes, we are going back to last week’s topic! Remember your blessings and all that you have. You have much to be thankful for as you stand in line with a basketful of gifts for others. Some aren’t as fortunate. Be thankful that you can afford to give so generously to others.

7. Spread some holiday cheer.

Whatever your holiday preference, just spread some cheer. Wear a smile. Say “please” and “thank you.” Be kind to others. ‘Tis the season of giving, so give someone the opportunity to smile and have an enjoyable day.

Last week, I included a video of comedian Michael Jr., and his message captures this theme. Every store is playing holiday music, so sing along, and if you’re in your car, just tune in to the Magic of Christmas (Magic 93). Don’t be a Scrooge – spread some cheer and enjoy your time.

Thanks for reading, and I hope these seven tips are helpful. Please share them with a friend! And most importantly, pour yourself a warm drink and enjoy plenty of wassailing!

Create the future you want with the choice to change now! This column offers Strength & Focus for the moments you need to overcome the distractions of the week, each and every day. Look for it every Monday on NEPA Scene.