With videos circling Youtube about violent outbreaks between shoppers on Black Friday, and because the biggest shopping period of the year is upon us (see: the holiday season), this article will attempt to bestow on you some valuable information on how to be safe and stress free this holiday shopping season.
First and foremost, it is pertinent that you prepare before venturing out to holiday shop. You need to know your budget, making a list of items that fall within that budget. While you may be bombarded with advertisements enticing you to go “bigger and bigger” with spending purchases, envision how you will feel after giving the elaborate gift, when you deal with the repercussions. Further, remember that “thoughtful” doesn’t necessarily need to be “expensive.” With a list in hand, put a checkmark next to their name once you have bought them something. A checklist will make you less likely to make impulse purchases.
Once the planning stages are complete, the real fun begins (i.e. the actual shopping). The LAPD has several (mostly obvious) safety tips, such as shopping during the day, dressing casually and comfortably, without any expensive jewelry. If a credit card is stolen, lost, or misused, you should notify the credit card company immediately. To avoid the increased pick pocketing risks that inevitable accompany this time of the year, the police advise that you avoid overloading yourself with packages, so that your wallet is no longer visible or so that you can no longer move and avoid mishaps.
The best way to avoid shopping mishaps with fellow shoppers, such as those witnessed on Black Friday, is to shop early. Don’t keep postponing your holiday shopping! Shopping early means a better selection of gifts, and less people to come into conflict with. On the other hand, if you wait until the last minute, you will experience crowds and potential conflict at the malls and post office. Do yourself a favor and avoid the crowds by shopping early, so that you can spend the holiday season with the people that really matter to you (as opposed to crazy, last-minute shoppers), in the comfort of your own home.
Another way to avoid the crowds is to plan ahead and be efficient. Choose stores that are within walking distance of one another, so you can avoid stress of looking for parking spots multiple times. And with the budget and list-making preparation you did beforehand, you will avoid the mistake of making the trip multiple times!
Make Sure Your Exercise Routine Doesn’t Take a Vacation This Holiday Season!
The holiday season is perhaps the most important time of the year to stay active – there are more rich and fattening foods to burn off! However, exercise often takes a vacation during this party packed couple of weeks, as yoga classes and gyms are closed during the holidays.
It is vitally important to keep up your fitness regiment during the holiday season. The easiest way to do so, according to fitness instructors, is to already have a routine established. While parents and other family members may question you for leaving them to head to the gym, remember to keep in mind what’s best for YOU in the long-run. As fitness instructor Stacey Lei Krauss expresses, “Will power leads to self-confidence. Will power is self-control: the ability to manage yourself, regardless of what’s happening around you.”
Other factors, such as holiday shopping stress, can induce fatigue. And the countless alcoholic and eggnog based beverages you drink won’t help your fatigue! Try to limit the number of alcoholic, soda, and eggnog based beverages you consume. Additionally, drink lots of water. Water not only reduces hunger, it also energizes, and gives you the extra kick you need to finish your holiday shopping and preparations.
The holiday will also tempt you with a multitude of yummy dessert options, from pecan pie to Starbucks holiday drinks to Christmas pudding. It is important to allow yourself some treats – if you avoid all dessert, you will have a much harder time sticking to a diet regiment. Instead, allow yourself one treat, if you really crave it – everything in moderation.
You should also try to create family activities centered on exercise. Instead of having that huge holiday breakfast, why not go for a long walk outside as a family, or hit the ski slopes together, or have a neighborhood game of football or hockey? Just get up and move. Don’t be a couch potato.
Stacey Lei Krauss advocates pursuing a healthy lifestyle this holiday season, not just focusing on the exercise and diet. There are other mechanisms to maintain a healthy lifestyle, such as doing “a salt scrub” or “hitting up the juice bar.” As 84 year old fitness instructor Ann Smith says, “all you need is to eat, sleep and move every day.”