With the holidays less than a month away, the pressure is on: Who do you need to remember to include on your gift list? What do you buy for them? Where should you shop? How do you wrap a package? Or a tie a ribbon into a pretty bow? (Feeling stressed yet?)
Holiday shopping is overwhelming, and new research proves our point. According to a new survey conducted by eBay, your heart rate may increase as much as 33 percent while you're out looking for holiday gifts, which is the physiological equivalent to running a marathon. The online retailer surveyed the physical response of 100 participants in London with a Lightwave wearable device in order to record data on their heart rate, blood volume pulse, skin temperature, skin activity, and movement. Participants were asked to go shopping for one hour. The results showed that their holiday excitement wore off only after 32 minutes and they pretty much lost all interest. Here's an even more compelling statistic: 88 percent of participants even experienced tachycardia, which is a heart rhythm disorder that makes your heart beat faster than normal while you are at rest. (So yes, that Black Friday shopping stress is a real thing.)
The solution? Experts suggest avoiding lengthy shopping trips and instead opt for short bursts (or what they are calling "High Intensity Interval Shopping" sessions). For example, instead of spending next Saturday walking in and out form store to store, dedicate 10 mins of your lunch break to browse around on the internet for gifts. This will make you less stressed out and you will actually end up buying better gifts as you'll be more mindful of your purchases.
Need help with your holiday gifts this year? In this video, Martha offers her best tips on how to organize wrapping and shipping supplies: