They say it’s better to give than to receive. But…that’s not always the case.
Gift giving can be downright stressful.
According to an article on Ness Labs entitled “The Psychology of Gift Giving,” 7 out of 10 people feel pressure when shopping for a gift. Over half are stressed out due to the expectations associated with giving gifts.
While gift giving is indeed a common source for stress, it doesn’t have to be.
With these 7 simple suggestions, you can truly experience the joy of giving as it was meant to be.
😩 The Challenges of Gift Giving
One of the main reasons gift giving is stressful is because of the challenges. Some of the most common problems encountered include:
Finding the right gift
Finding a gift that the recipient will appreciate and find useful can be a challenge. Some people get hung up on trying to find the ideal gift, especially those who are perfectionists.
Psychology Today cites that perfectionists go beyond striving for perfectionism, they shoot for the impossible, the unattainable so finding the right gift if you’re a perfectionist may be unfeasible.
Even if you aren’t looking for the perfect gift, finding one you feel is suitable can be a true challenge as well.
Sticking to a budget
It can be difficult to stay within a budget when buying gifts, especially in today’s economy. It can be depressing to exhaustive search for a great gift only to find an awesome one that isn’t within your budget. Choices aren’t great. You either splurge and pay the consequences or continue on your search which can be truly frustrating.
If you are a person who chronically doubts your decisions, you’ll have an extremely difficult time picking out a gift. And, once you do, you’ll probably change your mind. “What if they…?” you’ll wonder. “But, if….then…,” you’ll analyze. From size and color to how often they’ll use it and if they’ll really like it, you will question everything about each gift you tentatively choose. Good luck with that!
It can be hard to come up with unique, creative gift ideas. Choosing a creative gift can be difficult, as it requires a lot of thought and consideration. You need to think about the recipient’s interests, hobbies, and lifestyle to find something that is both creative and meaningful. It also requires a bit of creativity on your part to come up with something unique and special. Additionally, you may need to do some research to find out what kind of gifts are available and within your budget.
Finding the time to find the right gift is challenging enough but if you order it, you’ll need to allow time for it to come in. Then, finding the right time to give the gift can be tricky. Time is not necessarily on your side when it comes to gift giving.
Making sure the gift is appropriate and not too personal can be a bit on the awkward side. Furthermore, since a gift is a direct reflection on the giver of the gift, if you are self-conscious, giving a gift may even embarrass you.
There is a myriad of reasons gift giving can be stressful. Now it’s time to explore some solutions.
🤗 Happy and Healthy Gift Giving
The health and wellness website, Cleveland Clinic recently published an article stating that giving is good for your health for reasons including:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Promotes the excretion of “feel good” chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin
- Boosts mental health by lifting self-esteem
In addition, the very act of gift giving can strengthen relationships, raise appreciation for both the gift giver and the recipient, and even quieten quarrels.
🧘 7 Suggestions for Stress-Free Gifting
It seems as if there is always a time where gift giving is expected or at least appropriate like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentines, and more.
Gift giving can be even more special when it happens for no apparent reason at all.
No one wants to be stressed out during the process of choosing a gift or when presenting it. It defeats the entire purpose.
Here are some terrific tips to some super stress-reducing solutions:
#1: Give yourself a break
When you give yourself permission to choose the best gift you can under your specific circumstances, you’ll have a much better chance of enjoying the hunt and the delivery. Take your time frame, budget, and everything else into consideration and go for it. You know the difference between what is thoughtful and what is lame so as long as you make your best effort within reason to pleasing the recipient of your gift, you’ll do fine.
#2: Plan ahead
Part of the stress of giving a gift is the panic of not knowing what to get someone. Make it a habit to be attentive to things people like or need.
If you are at a friend’s house for coffee and notice they could use a new coffee maker…boom!
A co-worker who has a thing for candy would probably love a fun basket of candies.
Jot ideas down or make mental notes and when it’s time to shop, you’ll have the hard part of thinking of what to get already done.
#3: Go fund yourself
One of the biggest contributions to gift giving stress is the lack of money. Gifts happen though.
Birthdays and holidays just keep rolling around so why not put gifting money in your budget?
You can set the money aside or even open a designated savings. Take a little out for the savings every week or month and watch it grow.
Decide a limit on each gift before the time comes to buy it and you’ll make things much easier on yourself – financially and emotionally.
#4: Take up a hobby
Hobbies are a great stress relief according to Very Well Mind.
Taking up a hobby could also reduce the stress associated with gift giving because as you are delighting in your newfound hobby, you can be chalking up some gifts as well.
Sewing, crocheting, wood working, resin art, painting, leather making, sublimation, pottery, and more are popular crafts that might be worth considering.
#5: Look outside the box
Find new ways to give rather than giving gifts that you buy.
Do a favor for your mother such as raking her yard or planting a flower or vegetable garden for her.
Take your girlfriend on a nice picnic or to the beach or lake.
Spending time with your favorite people is a gift and doing chores for them also expresses love and appreciation.
Doing the unexpected can help release you from the burden of feeling you must meet expectations.
#6: Get real
If gift giving stresses you out an untold amount, you can always be honest with those you are closest to.
Talk to your friends and family about a mutual agreement not to give gifts to each other – on birthdays, at Christmas, or perhaps all of the above.
Those who know and love you the most are sure to understand when you share your heart with them and assure them it doesn’t mean you love them any less.
#7: Make a conscious decision
International advocate for children in poverty Wess Stafford summed it up when he said, “Joy is a decision, a really brave one, about how you are going to respond to life.”
When you decide you will joyfully give, that’s exactly what you’ll do.
You’ll do whatever it takes to make the process a happy one and that is what gift giving should be all about.
The stress of gift giving can ruin the holidays, spoil special occasions, and add undo difficulties to relationships. But, that’s only if you allow it to. By taking a stand and determining to find creative solutions like the seven above, you’ll be able to enjoy stress-free gift giving at its finest.