How to Do Black Friday Without Losing Your Mind
Ah, the post-turkey-binge bloat that is accompanied by the compulsive shopping frenzy called ‘Black Friday.’ We all know it well by now.
With an overload of sugar in our systems and incessant email alerts and TV commercials about “missing out” on the deals of the century, we are all likely to feel the anxiety companies aim to capitalize on.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun on this legendary day of consumer mayhem, but let’s get clear on one thing: fun doesn’t have to cost you!
If you don’t have money to spend, you don’t need to buy a single thing. That’s right, you can be a valiant salmon swimming up the stream, against the grain of the mindless shopping masses. You can save your money on Black Friday because, without the marketing campaigns, Black Friday is no different than any other 24 hour period. Why feel compelled to do something just because most people are doing it?
Let’s get really real at how easily we are duped into adding to our credit card debt, why it’s a ridiculous notion to swarm the stores and buy more stuff at the risk of literally getting trampled to death, and being manipulated into thinking you will only find the best deals during this one-day window.
Find Something Else To Do!
Why do we buy (pun absolutely intended) into these faux holidays imposed upon us by multi-billion dollar corporations that essentially mean nothing? Doing what everyone else is doing has a strong pull, stronger than any of us would like to admit. We’ve all followed the crowd in certain ways. We dress in ways that represent the person we want to be perceived as. We say things that will think will earn us social credit, even if it’s not really how we feel. We even show up at events we don’t want to be at because we don’t want to offend people or miss out. But spending money on items we don’t need is nothing short of lunacy and almost the entire country participates.
Sometimes shopping is just something to do. The holidays can land us in situations with people we barely know or have little in common with. Sometimes the idea of wandering the malls sounds like a welcome distraction from the uncomfortability of being around people we either have a difficult history with or don’t really know how to connect with is extremely tempting, especially amongst all the advertising promising the deals of a lifetime.
Re-Introduce Yourself to Your Family
Could all this spending be avoiding going deeper with people who we think we have nothing in common with? Dig deeper into yourself and find a way to get to know a family member you don’t know well and relate to them. Grab a coffee, go for a walk, and get to know that cousin you haven’t seen in two years but with whom you used to play as a child. Think about being a supportive, participating member of the family instead of about the temporary thrill of buying something you want (but don’t really need).
Set Goals & Create an Action Plan for the New Year
Here’s another idea: get clear about your goals for the upcoming year and make a list of the things you need to do to accomplish said goal. Would you like to plan a trip to inspire a major life change? Would you like to learn more about a certain topic? Would you like to create a new social group of progressive, creative people? Start writing up your action plan to achieve these goals step-by-step. I can guarantee if you spend your day pursuing goals instead of pursuing a new coat from H&M, you’ll fall asleep feeling much better (and with a fuller bank account!).
Post Funny Memes About Black Friday
When all else fails, make a public declaration on social media about your disdain for this faux holiday with memes! Comedy is a cure for everything - even your food coma might start to dissipate if you engage those belly muscles by laughing at the wittiest anti-corporate greed memes. Plus, taking a stance and stating your position will fortify your mental walls and ward off spending enablers who are seeking shopping partners.
Truth be told, there is no shortage of jokes about Black Friday that will nail the lid onto the coffin of your compulsive spending whims. There are alternatives to retail therapy that also stick it to the man, if you’re into that sort of thing. Plan a spa day, paint abstract art, or invite your friends over for an anti-Black Friday White Elephant gift exchange. Going against the grain can be quite invigorating, especially when you can inspire others to free themselves of their mental consumer shackles as well.
As cheesy as this article has been, we are talking about a much deeper issue here: your personal freedom to think and do what really is best for you. As much as you can, try to avoid any of the places where advertising and media could overwhelm you and pressure you into blowing all your Christmas money all at once. Challenge yourself and your family to make it through the entire day without looking at any screens (phones, computers, tablets) and bust out some good old fashioned board games. Start a brand new tradition that’s all your own that you can do again next Black Friday.
Related Article: Attitude of Gratitude: How To Practice Daily Gratitude