Hours of holiday shopping, whether online or in-store, can drain your mental peace. It’s hard enough searching for those elusive ‘perfect gifts' for loved ones – but doing it while also navigating the busiest time of the year? It can leave you dizzy with to-dos, with little room for your health and well-being.
This year, let’s prioritize your mental health by adding a dash (or truckload!) of wellness spirit to your holidays with mindful shopping. We’ll show you how to get started!
But First: What Is Mindful Shopping?
Mindful Shopping is an extension of the practice of mindfulness (keeping your attention in the present moment). It includes maintaining your full awareness when you shop, so you avoid unhealthy spending habits like impulse buys, guilt-driven purchases, overspending, or supporting unethical brands.
Here’s what mindful shopping looks like in action:
- Buying only what you need – even if you have a hard time saying ‘no’ to those flashy sales signs.
- Keeping gifts simple and thoughtful – even if you’re an overachiever that usually spends a lot of energy to hunt down ‘that perfect gift.’
- Choosing quality over quantity – even if you feel the social pressure to give more.
- Researching the environmental impact of a product before you buy it – even if you like to make impulse purchases.
How Mindful Holiday Shopping Benefits You
Mindful shopping gifts you with more serenity and fulfillment amidst the holiday stress. Here’s what you can look forward to when you mindfully shop:
When you curate a smaller collection of items you love, you develop a deep sense of gratitude for each one. Plus, you’re less inclined to chase after endless desires for more ‘stuff.’
Presence of mind allows you to make better decisions that keep within your budget.
Buying less supports the environment because you produce less waste.
Less Buyer’s Remorse.
When you ditch the impulse buys, you also ditch the buyer’s remorse that follows shortly after. And perhaps the extra time it takes to return those items.
Better Workers Welfare.
When you invest in items created with equitable practices, you support better conditions for the workers.
When you’re choosy, you pick wisely and end up with things that add real value to your life.
Holiday Mindfulness: 6 Steps To Mindful Shopping
It takes time and dedicated practice to strengthen the ‘mindful shopping muscle.’ Here are 6 steps to get you started on the journey this holiday season.
1. Make Each Shopping Trip Intentional
It’s way too easy to get ‘shiny object syndrome’ and become distracted once you enter a shop (trust us, we’ve been there!). As a workaround, make a list and outline your intentions before you head out to the stores.
Refer to your list often, ensuring that every purchase is in line with what you came looking for. And that goes for online shopping, too! Plus, when a Facebook or Google ad grabs your attention, think before you click: Am I looking for this right now?
2. Whip Up Some Homemade Goodies
Handmade gifts are a rarity these days, which is why they make special presents! Use your talents to bake, paint, sew, or create anything your heart desires.
Whether it’s candles with custom scents, tote bags with handpicked fabrics, or a keto muffin mix – choose something that the receiver will love, and get making! If you can’t think of anything else, baked goods (following a tried and true recipe) are always a safe fallback. Who doesn’t love something to satisfy their sweet tooth during the holiday season?
3. Show Your Local Vendors Some Love
Shopping local is always a good idea in our books! Not only do you contribute to a small business owner’s livelihood, you also stumble upon unique gifts that can’t be found elsewhere.
A gorgeous cutting board made of reclaimed wood, intricately beaded earrings, and a painting by a local artist are among the most treasured local gifts that we’ve received over the years. So hit up your local boutiques, holiday markets, or Etsy to find a gem of a gift with a memorable story behind it.
4. Gift Experiences
Experiential gifts take up less space and create memories that stay with us. Plus, according to science, the happiness we feel from experiences grows over time.
When you’re gifting experiences, consider your loved one’s personality, what they’re obsessing over lately, and things they may never get to do otherwise.
Here are some gift ideas to spark your inspiration:
- High tea for two
- Symbolic animal adoption through WWF
- A day at a Hammam Spa
- Indoor rock climbing
- A cooking class with a local chef
- A food tour around your city
- A sewing class at the local fabric store
- A day of gallery-hopping
- An ayurvedic abhyanga oil massage
5. Start Really Early
If you only have a couple of weeks (or days) to get all of your shopping done, you’re bound to over-extend yourself, making mindful decisions a lot more challenging. Instead, try starting early. Really early.
Throughout the year, any time you see a cool gift idea or something that reminds you of a loved one, get it! And then, save it for the holidays to make your shopping load a bit lighter. A bonus: If you’re anything like us, you might discover it’s much easier to find gifts when you’re not looking for them.
6. Mindfulness Items: Give The Gift Of Mental Peace
Buying gifts that support someone’s mental health journey is one of the simplest ways to mindfully shop. Here are some ideas for the wellness enthusiasts in your life:
- The Reflect Orb to help your loved ones develop their own inner peace practice (or stay regular with theirs).
- A yoga mat to encourage a physical wellness practice.
- A lavender eye pillow for a restful sleep.
- A yoga or meditation retreat for a rejuvenating getaway.
Holidays Are The Time For Mindful Giving - Especially To Yourself
Mindful shopping is a great reminder that happiness isn’t on the other side of your next purchase – it’s an inside job. If you’re searching for well-being, our at-home biofeedback device helps put you in a state of calm on a regular basis. Start your mindfulness practice with Reflect.