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To Shop, or not

Today I choose not to.

I’m usually a pretty laid-back individual when it comes to shopping in my free time. However, shopping during the holidays is my worst nightmare. I get nervous about shopping with hordes of people and I am over-stimulated and distracted with all the shiny, brightly-lit everything. Staring too long at the Christmas lights puts me into a Holiday coma. If I manage to tare myself away from the decorations, I realize I’ve completely lost track of my list and the purpose of the shopping trip. On a few occasions, I’ve shopped for a couple of hours, only to find that standing in long lines with screaming children is more than I can take. I end up leaving all my items there and walking out of the store. Many times I’ve had to suppress the urge to run screaming from stores when I’ve had to listen to Christmas music for too long, especially annoying Christmas music. Store managers everywhere slipping “Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas” into the store’s stereo system, please, cease and desist.

If you are anything like me, it doesn’t matter how many times people have scolded your resistance to holiday shopping or have harassed you to embrace the “holiday spirit”, you’re not going to do it. If you do decide to venture out in public, you’re going to try and make everyone else as miserable as you are. Here’s an idea; maybe stay home this year and do your shopping online. No, it’s not too late and all those smug, Chipmunk-album- listening people, will thank you.

If you do throw caution to the wind, stressed-out holiday shoppers of the world, and go to the mall this season, perhaps you should heed the advice offered up in this article. The article is an interview with psychologist, Nadine Kaslow of the Emory University of Medicine. Kaslow mentions that one reason why people become even more stressed out during the holidays is because they are typically not eating right and not exercising as much, so they can become ill more easily, which makes them unhappy. Paying more attention to your overall health during the holidays will help you keep yourself together during stressful situations, like shopping. In addition, people become financially stressed during this time of year; the article also mentions how it is important to know your budget. While charging up your credit card to pay for those gifts seems like a quick-fix now, it’s going to cost you more in the long run and cause you stress in the New Year when you get the bill.

To Shop, or not

Jennifer Bechdel

Jennifer Bechdel, MBA is a freelance and technical writer, as well as a marketing consultant. She focuses on workplace issues, stress, and unemployment topics.

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APA Reference
Bechdel, J. (2018). To Shop, or not. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 15 Dec 2007)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.