Author: Paulette Gough, Natural Health Writer
Who doesn’t get seriously excited about that perfect pair of pumps or that bag that you just can’t live without? But, those purchases are more like a stroll around the block compared the marathon called holiday shopping… and, it all starts on Black Friday.
The real question is, how can you make the most of this once a year shopping event without crashing half way through? Here are some tried (believe me, we have tried them) and true tips that can help cross every name off your list and prevent Black Friday fatigue.
- Preparation! Preparation! Preparation! You can’t start crossing names OFF your list if you don’t have a list prepared in advance. The worst thing you can do on Black Friday is wing it! You will come home exhausted with 7 Christmas sweaters, 24 pairs of socks and tons of cookies just because they were on sale. I don’t think your 18 year old nephew will be pleased with Santa socks! So, start with a list of all those lucky family members, co-workers and in-laws, list some likes and dislikes, and set a budget for each one. If you can, browse store websites the week before. Often, retailers like to hint at what their sales will be. By doing this prep-work in advance, you can mentally prepare yourself to hit the stores and reduce the stress of disorganization!
- Hush Little Baby Don’t Say a Word! Don’t knock the benefits of a good night’s sleep. A solid 7-9 hours of rest the night before shopping can go a long way toward preparing you for the day ahead. When you feel rested, you feel energized and you will accomplish a lot more during your Black Friday shopping adventures. Remember not to overindulge during Thanksgiving dinner. Too much food can affect the quality of your sleep.
- Start the Day Out Right… Eat a Good Breakfast! Although you should avoid overeating on Thanksgiving, starting Black Friday with a well-balanced, nutritious meal is a must. Skip the Coco Puffs and focus on the three main components of a healthy breakfast… a lean protein, whole grains, plus fruits and vegetables. This combination will keep you feeling full and full of energy, without the crash that can come with unhealthy sugary cereals.
- It’s Exercise! Warm Up First! Don’t let anyone convince you that shopping isn’t a sport and like any other sport you should warm up before you begin. Spend 5-10 minutes doing some simple arm, leg and back exercises before you face the crowds. This will help stretch out your muscles and prepare them for hours of walking, bending and carrying heavy packages.
- Dress properly! Ditch the fur coat, tight skinny jeans and the four inch stilettos during Black Friday shopping. Instead, opt for comfortable, breathable lightweight layers and comfortable, rubber-soled shoes. These shock absorbing soles will add miles to your shopping route without adding blisters. The multi-layered approach will keep you warm or cool as you change stores and climates!
- Stay Hydrated… and Fueled! In the excitement of Black Friday shopping you may forget to drink lots of water, but if you want to avoid fatigue, this tip is the key to success. Forced heat or air conditioning can be very drying, so stay hydrated by bringing water with you or adding bottled water during checkout. These days plenty of stores have added water right next to the checkout. You should also avoid the temptation to hit the food court, the carb-heavy and salty food will make you more tired. Remember to add some whole grains and protein rich snacks to your pocket book and save your money for holiday shopping.
- Get a Boost with Herbal Supplements! There are many herbs that can provide a natural boost to your energy levels. Adding an herbal supplement to your daily regimen can increase your energy levels not just for Black Friday shopping but every day. Herbal supplements such as licorice, eleuthero, guarana, and gotu kola are just a few. They can be taken as individual supplements or can sometimes come in combination remedies. For instance, Siberian ginseng is highly respected and prized as a natural energy tonic to support energy, circulation, natural vitality1, and is one of the most well-respected adaptogenic energy herbs in Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine2.
• Hartz AJ, Bentler S, Noyes R, et al.Randomized controlled trial of Siberian ginseng for chronic fatigue. Psychol Med . 2004;34(1):51-61.
Winston, D., Maimes, S., Adaptogens: Herbs For Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, 2007, pp. 226-7.