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Why You Should Avoid Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

Culture

This may seem pretty self-explanatory, but it can be so tempting to just keep swiping every time you see something you or a loved one may want during the holiday season. If you put off holiday shopping to the very last minute, this can spell financial disaster. While a financial mistake or blunder can happen to anyone, if you plan ahead you can avoid breaking the bank!


Don’t wait until it’s too late, and if you really need to last-minute shop here are some ways to do so without paying a fortune.

Photo Courtesy of National Retail Federation

Shipping Costs

You might’ve had intentions to get your holiday shopping done before December rolled around, but life can get hectic. You may not have time to go to the mall or store after work resulting in online shopping! While online shopping has many perks, the downside is the costly shipping fees. It’s important to take some time and shop around online. One store may be offering your item but isn’t offering free shipping while another retailer is. You may be in a rush to finish your holiday shopping as quickly as possible but don’t press the submit button without comparing and contrasting different retail websites! In the end, this can wind up saving you a decent amount of money.

“Sorry Your Item is Out Of Stock”

Yikes, right! No one wants to hear their item is out of stock, especially when you have limited time left before the holiday. Unfortunately, this risk runs high when you may have procrastinated in tackling your holiday shopping list. As a result, consumers become more desperate to find something they can gift-wrap. This may lead to consumers having to buy costlier items in order to substitute what they originally wanted to purchase. This can be easily avoided by making it a goal to do your shopping earlier on in the season when stores have more stock. By last minute shopping, you put yourself at risk for spending more and putting your budget in jeopardy.

To dodge making a big financial mistake that can lead you to accrue holiday debt, bring cash with you. While your item might be out of stock, still aim to bring the amount that item would’ve cost you to purchase an alternative gift to ward off racking up a larger subtotal. Make a budget with the maximum amount of money you can afford to spend on gifts this year. Before you even leave the house, make a list of who to buy for, what to buy, and the costs. Mapping out what you plan to purchase will prevent you from going over your total allotted budget. Just because you are shopping last minute doesn’t mean your budget should be thrown aside!

Tis the Season for Identity Fraud

Since last-minute shopping can put you in a craze swiping your cards left and right and can leave you vulnerable to identity theft. Identity theft is becoming more and more common around the holiday time.

Photo Courtesy of Norton

While you are in a rush, you may not notice your card has been charged for purchases you did not make until it’s too late. Falling victim to credit card fraud can really ruin the holiday cheer.

To deter identity theft from happening, the top of your shopping list should be to protect your credit and bank accounts. If you are shopping online, avoid clicking suspicious links. You may get enticed to click on advertisements that are offering special sales or coupons but avoid clicking these unless they come from the actual retailer. Additionally, use secure connections and update your passwords in time for holidays. If you are shopping in the stores, you might want to refrain from using third-party ATMs. If you don’t already have your banking app, try downloading your bank app so you can monitor your statements quicker!

Remember, the holiday season is a great time to gift your loved ones, but you don’t need to go into debt doing so. The holiday season may put a weight on your wallet, but if you rack up the credit card bills during the holiday season, you will find no relief in the New Year trying to pay off your debt!

Our newsletter that womansplains the week
5min read
Health

Patriarchy Stress Disorder is A Real Thing and this Psychologist Is Helping Women Overcome It

For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.


As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.


Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.

What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein

This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.

Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.

While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.

"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.

Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.

In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.

"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."

https://www.drvalerie.com/