I heard that a new study found hearing Christmas music too early can cause anxiety. I first heard Christmas music the day after Halloween. That’s too early in my opinion. According to the study, the anxiety comes because people begin to think about all the things they do before Christmas comes, such as shopping. Often, trying to find a perfect gift for someone during the Christmas shopping season is difficult. It can make people worry and cause harm to their health.
Therapists see many stressful situations and problems during the holiday season. To help you get through this time without incident, here are some tips on gifts that would reduce your stress and fears.
- Treat yourself – Sometimes, you can relieve your stress from shopping by buying something for yourself or buying gifts that you would want. When you treat yourself, you are saying that you are worthy and deserve a present as good as what you are giving others. This also might give you a reason to go to stores that don’t involve buying for others. Be careful to avoid spending your entire Christmas budget on yourself.
- Help others – You can find gifts that are meant to help others. These gifts would represent the spirit of the season more than buying the hottest product seen in advertising. For example, you can give books to help others or food for homeless shelters. Some people give to charities in their loved ones’ names. If you want to buy books as a way to help others, you should choose wisely. For new parents, you can buy How to Enjoy Being A Parent or Baptism What a Blessing!. For people struggling with their sexuality, you could give Is Gay Good? For engaged couples, My Marriage Manual might be just the thing. If people are struggling with negative emotions or behaviors, Healing Through the Hurt will show the way to emotional health.
- Be creative – Some of the best gifts are those that come from the heart. Be creative and make something. For example, you might want to create a calendar with pictures of you and your family throughout the year to give to relatives you don’t see very often. You might want to do a scrapbook or memory book. You might be able to sew a bag or quilt that you could give someone. You could tell the people you love by creating an audio file or movie. You could have fun with the project, especially if you do that hobby regularly anyway.
- Shop small – Instead of buying gifts in national stores, such as Target or Best Buy where many of the gifts are the same, go to the small stores in your area, the ones out of the way, but worth it when you find a unique item. You might find something that is unique to where you live that you could give to someone in another part of the country. You might find a one-of-a-kind item that your relatives or friends will love. You also can go to thrift stores, which will allow you to help others, or flea markets, which will allow you to find an antique or something different.
- Talk with a professional – Phobias can be eliminated when you talk with a professional. Licensed therapy can help people get past their fears. With each session, the person will the phobia will be exposed to the object bringing fear. He or she will endure more and more exposure until he or she is able to control the phobia and be able to resume normal activities. The methods of exposure depend on the phobia. The therapist will determine which method to use during the sessions. If you know someone with a fear, such as flying, you can give therapeutic sessions as a gift. In my practice, I have helped people deal with their phobias frequently. Visit www.centralcounseling.org for more details.
Christmas season doesn’t have to be stressful. Consider ways to eliminate the issues causing you to worry and act on them.