Our second guest of the week is TiaMarie and she will be sharing her wisdom on creating and keeping a holiday budget with chronic illness and saving your spoons in the process!
The holidays can be stressful for anyone on a budget. For those of us who also need to manage our energy levels, the idea of holiday shopping is daunting. Huge crowds can be nearly as overwhelming as the hefty price tag on many of this season’s must-have toys.
In my battle with RA, I’ve found that being proactive instead of reactive can make all the difference. So I’ve gathered together some tips to share with you to make this holiday shopping season as manageable as possible. I hope they help!
Set a budget. Stick to it.
Before you even start shopping, take a few moments to decide how much you can really afford to spend. Be realistic. If this is a tough year for you, maybe sending cards instead of gifts to extended family is the way to go. It really is the thought that matters and many of your family and friends will understand if you can’t afford to buy a gift for everyone.
Make a list. Check it twice.
Once you have a solid budget, check out the people on your list. I like to note a few ideas next to each person’s name. If I have ideas of what to look for, it makes for less wandering around the stores.
Shop online. Scope out deals.
Before hitting the stores, check to see if any items can be ordered online for a cheaper price. Many stores even offer discounts on shipping this time of year which saves the shopper a lot of energy. And with sites like Etsy and Storenvy, you can find some unique gifts for those hard-to-shop-for folks on your list.
Plan ahead. Be prepared.
For any shopping that must be done in person, make a plan. Rest up for a day or two before. Plan your shopping for a day with no other obligations so you can take your time and rest afterwards. Rushing and pushing yourself only leads to more pain. Remember your list so you’re not wandering around the store using up spoons needlessly.
Be kind to yourself.
Many of us forget to take care of ourselves during this busy time of year. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and the next thing you know, you’re flat on your back in the middle of a flare. Spread out your shopping instead of trying to cram it all into one outing. Take advantage of mobility aids and help offered by loved ones.
Most of all, remember the reason for the season. Focus your energy on spending time with people you love. For spoonies and those who love us, this can be the best gift of all. Last year my fiance and I mailed out Christmas cards to everyone on our list and had a scaled back celebration with a few close friends. By cutting out a lot of shopping, travel, and long days, I was able to enjoy the holiday instead of being laid up in pain.
I hope these tips help you enjoy this time of year with minimal impact on your body. From my home to yours, Happy Holidays!