Taming Christmas Shopping Overwhelm for HSPs and Empaths

Christmas shopping in malls can be a challenge for Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) and Empaths. If you’re like me, just looking at the image above stirs a feeling of unease. It’s the crowds.  Not only can we be overwhelmed by the noise and people, but we also pick up on both the obvious and less obvious myriad of emotions emanating from them. All that excitement, frustration and anxiety; it can be a very tiring and taxing outing for most people, and even more so for HSPs and Empaths.

Instead of putting yourself through that, or if you want to limit your exposure, consider the following holiday shopping tips.

  1. Plan your mall trip on an evening early in the week as malls tend to be less busy on Monday and Tuesday evenings, and start getting busier by mid-week.
  2. Better yet, plan your mall trip on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday during the day, even if you have to take a day or half day off work to do so.  Get it all done by noon then treat yourself to a well-deserved lunch.
  3. Avoid the malls altogether and do your shopping from home, online. Just make sure to order early enough so your gifts arrive on time, and be mindful of possible knock offs if ordering from Amazon’s third party resellers. Know from whom and where you are buying from.   

If you can’t avoid the malls in December completely, or at least during the busy hours, here are a few tips to lessen the impact of the hustle and bustle of being in the crowd.

  1. Be prepared. Have your list ready; go in, get what you need, and get out. Do your browsing online ahead of time to get gift ideas, instead of browsing in the stores. 
  2. Go in a good mood. Let yourself get into the spirit of the season by focusing on the Christmas music being played. Notice all the pretty glittery decorations and colorful displays, but keep focused on one pretty thing at a time because the abundance of lights and glitter can be overwhelming. Keeping your energy more spirited and joy filled amongst all that chaotic energy around you will help neutralize some of it at the least, or bounce off you at best.
  3. Go with a friend and make it a fun outing. Help each other with gift ideas, and enjoy a lunch or dinner afterward – preferable in a quieter environment.

As an Empath or Highly Sensitive Person, you may still feel spent after any mall excursion during the holiday season, even if you’ve done your best to limit your exposure to all that sensory overload. Here are some simple self-care tips to help you unwind and recover after a day of Christmas shopping.

  1. Relax in a warm salt bath infused with your favorite calming essential oil – my fav is lavender.
  2. Unplug! Give your sensory receptors a break and read a book or magazine instead of watching TV or getting online.
  3. Sit by the fireplace with a nice cup of tea, eggnog, glass of wine, or other favorite beverage.   

The best of the holiday season is that it’s an opportunity to share time with family and friends, and to give of ourselves to others. As empaths and HSPs, we need to balance that with caring for ourselves, and giving in personally meaningful ways.  When we do, even though the lead up to the big day is challenging or draining, the knowing we’ve given meaningfully, have treated ourselves well in the process, and are enjoying the love of family and friends hits us just as deep – focus on that, amplify that feeling. Our high sensitivity can sometimes feel like a curse, and it can also feel like a super power.  Let it be a super power!  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Posted by on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 12:58 pm 
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