3 ways to avoid buying too much at Christmas

We are at that time of the year when we think of Christmas.

Christmas is a time of year that brings up many emotions. It can be difficult emotionally. Issues that you can ignore at other times of the year often surface at Christmas time.

Additionally, if you have people to give presents to, there is the purchasing of presents to complete.

If you eat at home, or go somewhere and take food with you, then there is the purchasing of food items.

Everywhere you go there are amazing displays and temptations to buy. Whether it is amazing gifts or tempting food items, there is always the call to spend.

This happens in person and online.

Of course in the middle of this there are also the calls to buy things for yourself.

It is very easy to go online and click, click, click or go into a shop and fill your trolley or arms with gifts.

Neurologically we notice what is novel or different. This is a mechanism to keep us safe. It ensure we notice the things that are different in case those things are dangerous. This feature of our brains trips us up when shopping as we are more likely to notice what is different and novel and be tempted to buy it.

All this push to spend is made worse when old traumas surface as Christmas approaches. Many people find buying things to be very comforting. It is a form of addiction and addiction exists to soothe and calm. This belief is bolstered by advertising that sends the message that happiness is found in buying. Unless you want a houseful of novel items or fantastic specials on household goods (and there is no limit to the number of sheets and towels you can buy, right?) then this buying is unhelpful.

What can you do?

Use Mindfulness as an ally and helpful tool:

• Recognise the pain of past hurts and trauma. Use a simple soothing meditation to assist you in calming the hurt part of you. In my next Thursday blog I will include a simple meditation. If it is difficult to manage the pain then see a trauma informed counsellor.

• Set an intention to only buy what fits within your budget and list.

• Set a budget of how much you will spend on each person and be strict with it.

• Write a list of what you want to buy and stick to it.

When you find yourself looking at an item and wanting to buy it, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I really need this item? Is my brain hooked on its novelty or the advertising campaign around it?
  2. Is my desire to buy this item a deep need that wants my attention. This is where you can check in with yourself and ask what desire you have that you think buying this item will fulfil. Are you seeking love, connection, acceptance or to fill a childhood need? If you answer yes to any of this, stop and acknowledge the need and offer your wounded part compassion and understanding. Reassure that part it does not need that item anymore.
  3. Now ask yourself what will happen if you buy the item. Will you need to take money out of your present budget, which means someone else will miss out on a present? Will you instead spend money you have been saving for something else? Will you use the item and what will you use it for? Is this item good value for money? The question list is endless.

Whatever you decide, you need to be happy with your decisions.

It is also helpful to get help from a counsellor who is trained in trauma therapy and understands the issues around the pain of past hurts and traumas. I have training in trauma therapy and understand the pain.

If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your hurts and trauma, please contact me on 0409396608 or nan@plentifullifecounselling.com.au

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz

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