It Is Better to Give Than to Receive – Give Stress and Anxiety the Gift of Good Riddance


Do you remember the merry-go-round in the lower grades elementary school playground? I used to love to push it, then jump on and ride. It was always better with a friend pushing. I also remember that occasionally a fifth grader would sneak over into our little kid’s playground. He would rare back and give the merry-go-round a 5th grader-style push. This would render the merry-go-round useless to us second graders. It was just spinning too fast.

Do you ever feel like life is just spinning too fast? There are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish task that we used to easily complete with little stress. It takes a bit of planning, but we can organize our lives to make some sense of it all.

There are many ways that I have found to help remove stress and anxiety from our life. There are too many to list here, but I would like to share one simple idea; plan and organize for stress and anxiety-free gift giving. Organize, organize, organize! This little twist on the real estate industry’s mantra is, in my opinion, the first and foremost activity that will reduce stress and anxiety.

Gift giving is an exhilarating and uplifting exercise. Most of us have been reminded over and over that it is better to give than to receive. This proverb rings loud and clear when you see the delight on a child’s face when they open that stuffed animal on their birthday. It is even more precious when they get so attached that it becomes their constant companion. They sleep with it, read books to it and even set a place and the dinner table for their plump, fluffy friend. If we were lucky enough to get that perfect gift in under the wire, it was not free of undue stress and anxiety.

Giving has too many positive qualities to miss out on. Giving is, on the other hand, a challenge. It will add stress and anxiety to our lives if we fail to be organized at it. We know that a niece or nephew’s birthday is coming soon. We completely intend to get them something; however, the necessities of life have absconded with every free moment of our time. We just happened to remember their special day on the night before their birthday and now we must rush out and get something just to make a showing. This adds a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety to an otherwise soothing and very rewarding experience.

I’ve been there more times than I would like to admit. A couple years ago, I decide to take the bull by the horns and get ahead of the game. I implemented the first step Removal and Understanding Anxiety in a stress management plan. It was the very successful at reducing the level of stress and anxiety that I was experiencing. I intend to make this little stress management nugget a habit.

I like to use the New Year, January, to implement this. New Years is just a good time to get organized, however, any time of the year will do. It is a bit time consuming to set up initially, but after the data base is established, only small changes will be necessary as new babies are born, or a new son-in-law is added to the family. I use a calendar; you can use whatever method works well for you. A file on your computer, a list on the fridge etc. are some suggestions. The idea is to build a data base of names and birthdays of every person that you intend to give a gift to during the year. Write the name and the date of their birthday or special day such as Christmas, Easter etc. Make a column for the deadline to buy the item. If you choose to make gifts, this would be the day that you must have it wrapped and ready to give. Make the deadline one month prior to the birth date or the date of the occasion. This will eliminate the last minute stress and anxiety-filled scurrying about. It creates a buffer zone that will allow for unexpected diversions from your deadline. This planning will insure that you will be able to get the gift that you really want them to have. You won’t have to settle for the toy section at the local supermarket on the night before the event. This will eliminate giving another tie to the man in your life that doesn’t have room in his little section of the closet for his shirts, much less another tie. Your gift will be wrapped neatly and sitting in the closet. When the special occasion arrives, you simply load it in the car and go stress-free to your party.


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