In the rush to get your kids (or yourself for that matter) back to school, taking time to meditate often gets overlooked. Here are some quick and easy ways to keep your cool – Back to School Shopping with less stress!
- If you get claustrophobic in a crush of people, practice deep breathing meditation. The next time you feel your frustration level rising, pause where you are, take a good deep breath filling your lungs completely and as you breath in think the word “calm”.
Taking a deep breath when you feel frustration rising lessens the feeling of claustrophobia by getting more oxygen into your system and surprisingly, just thinking the word “calm” can help you feel less stressed. Our bodies react to our thoughts, so thinking the word calm (or whatever word or phrase works best for you) can trick your body into NOT releasing more stress hormone into your system!
- In line ups a great way to keep your cool is to take a moment to change your focus from “How much longer do I have to wait in this @!%$&^ line up?!” to something like -
- Thank goodness I am just about finished!
- Oh good, I have time to look at magazines without having to buy them
By changing how you think about a situation you have more control over how you feel about it.
- For the poor person left waiting for their shopping partner to be finished, instead of stewing about how she/he said it would only take 5 minutes and that was 10 minutes ago you could -
- Take a minute to practice deep breathing
- Take this opportunity to people watch, (discretely mind you!)
- Find a quiet spot to read a paper or catch up on your email or texting
If you KNOW you will have more than 5 minutes to kill because the person you are waiting for always underestimates how long she/he will take, why not do something you enjoy with that extra time? Pretend it is bonus free time. One of my (ex) friends ALWAYS took 15 minutes if she said she was leaving for 5 minutes. Sometimes I watched people, sometimes, I walked around the mall a couple of times if I got restless. Other times I found a place to sit down and just day dream. Now I would do a couple of mindfulness techniques to keep me pleasantly occupied.
There are of course a lot of non-meditation stress reducing tricks you can use when shopping. You veteran shoppers will probably be familiar with these
- Write down which stores you are going to go to and in what order.
- Communicate your plans to anyone you will be shopping with BEFORE you go so you can adjust your plans to take their requirements into consideration
- Write down exactly what are you buying in each store (or looking at, in the case of comparison shopping) so you don’t end up forgetting things and having to revisit those over-crowded stores!
- For expensive items decide ahead of time what is the most you will pay for it. This keeps in store decisions calmer because you know ahead of time what you will and will not pay.
- Schedule a rest break part way through your shopping trip, especially if you are doing a lot of price comparison shopping, so you can go review your notes while you give your feet a short break.
- Keep a pen and paper with you when you shop so you can write down things you will buy “if you can’t find anything better”
- Write down the store, the item and the price.
- Give yourself more time than you actually think you need in case there are unexpectedly long line ups or trouble finding parking etc. The shopping is so much more enjoyable if you are not rushing through crowded stores seconds before closing trying to make rational decisions!
I hope these techniques help make your back to school shopping a more peaceful experience