The Best Black Friday Deals for an Empath
I love shopping, and finding the best Black Friday deals has a joy of its own. The problem? I’m an empath.
Being an empath on Black Friday is its own little version of hell, and probably the worst day of the year for me as an empath if I choose to participate. I’ve done it before–individually, in a group, with family. I’ve hit the stores at 5AM and then headed in for a full day of work at 7AM. I’ve shopped all morning til I’ve dropped later in the day, and finished most of my holiday shopping in a single, frantic day. I’m productive, yes, but one thing is always the same.
I’m exhausted emotionally and therefore physically drained.
I feel the energy of those around me, and that energy includes their emotions. I feel the frantic and frazzled emotions of other shoppers crowding in around me. I feel their impatience, their worry over not getting the right present for the kids or the best Black Friday deals. I feel their stress, and that adds to mine. Some years, I can be perfectly serene after a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family and our annual Thanksgiving picnic on the beach, but I lose it the next day in the mad rush at consumerism. I don’t have to be part of the competitive shopping spree. I don’t have to do that to myself year after year.
I believe that the holiday season should be as stress-free as possible. If I’m stressed out over Christmas and especially over Christmas giving, then I’m missing the point and there’s a bigger problem than missing the best Black Friday deals I can find. I’m doing myself a disservice.
I’ve learned to replace my Black Friday gladiator experiences with something else that’s much less stressful:
1. I shop throughout the year for a limited list of loved ones who’ll receive gifts from me. This way, if I’m at an arts and crafts event in April and spot the perfect, uniquely-designed necklace for my daughter, I buy it on the spot and stash it for the next seven months.
2. I buy experiential gifts rather than “stuff.” I can’t remember what I gave my kids year before last or the year before that, but for one Christmas, we took all the money we would have spent on “stuff” and put it into a Carnival cruise to Mexico and on Christmas and Christmas Eve, the girls and I were climbing Mayan pyramids together. THAT year’s gift, I remember and I still have it.
3. I take advantage of online shopping, especially for my elderly mom. For the most part, I buy her entertainment. She gets yearly subscriptions to video streaming services like Netflix or Amazon, and ebooks for the kindle I bought her a few years back.
If I replace the empathic hysteria of Black Friday with these three gift ideas, everything else falls into place.
The very best Black Friday deals for an empath like me? Spending the day after Thanksgiving on a quiet, rejuvenating walk through Nature and thinking about all the people I’m grateful to have in my life.