Three Ways to Beat the Holiday Stress by Robert Kiyosaki

Three Ways to Beat the Holiday Stress

Why giving is so powerful and why you should give to yourself this holiday season

This week officially kicks off the holiday season. For many this is a hectic time. Between family commitments, parties, and gift shopping, a lot of time, energy, and money is spent trying to hit the holiday bullseye.

Probably not surprisingly, many people find the holidays to be more stressful than joyful. The Mayo Clinic has a whole article devoted to beating that holiday stress, and there’s some good tips there. It’s no wonder that people find this time of year so stressful. According to Deloitte, “Households are expected to spend an average of $1,536 during the holidays.” For most households, that is a lot of money…often money they don’t have to spend. Yet, they do so because that is the expectation.

Who’s really the Scrooge?

Interestingly, in popular culture, it's the rich who are often depicted as miserly and grumpy come Christmas time. One of our most treasured Christmas stories, “A Christmas Carol”, is the poster child for such a sentiment.

No one would argue that Scrooge is an admirable character. In fact, he's simply nasty. But the reality is that anyone can be a Scrooge, whether rich or poor. Scrooge is simply a mindset.

The Scrooge mindset is one that puts money over people. You don’t have to be rich or poor to do this. You simply have to view giving as something that takes away from you rather than something that gives back to you.

The power of giving

Kim and I have talked for many years that one of the best reasons to become financially free is so that you can give. We preach that giving back should be part of the way that you budget your money.

Giving is important because none of us become successful on our own. I had a rich dad who invested in me and taught me how money works. He did so generously and without charge. I’ve also had many partners and advisors who have shared their knowledge with me and brought me into their projects to invest. While we both benefited from these investments, it is the shared giving of our time, talent, and resources that brings us the most joy.

This is natural. Science has shown that being generous produces true biological changes that contribute to happiness. Those that give are happier than those that receive. When you give, endorphins are released in your body that give you a feeling of a high. And giving itself, when done for the right reasons, reduces stress and makes you healthier.

Given this, you’d think that people would be happier during the holidays. But perhaps it’s because we don’t really want to give or be generous that we’re so stressed come the holiday times. And perhaps it’s time to really focus on the great gift we have each year to focus on being thankful and for giving back to those we love, including ourselves.

At rich dad, we believe the greatest gift you can give is the gift of a healthy self. When you are healthy, wealthy, and wise, you are able to be present with those who you love-and that is the greatest present of all.

If your inner Scrooge is coming out during the holidays this year, don't fret. You're not alone-and there's something you can do about it, starting today.

Eat less and work out more

The holidays are a time when most people blow their diets, and in grand style. When we do this, not only do we not feel great, but we also let the guilt of making such decisions make us grumpier and grumpier. Our subconscious knows when we're making bad decisions, and unless we own them, we'll usually start blaming others, often in inexplicable ways.

It doesn't have to be that way. Rather than pack on the holiday 15 this year, make it a point to eat sparingly. Think of every calorie saved as an investment in your health for the year to come. Can you enjoy yourself? Certainly. But you don't have to do it to the extreme.

But eating right isn't enough. Make sure to take some time during the busy holiday season to exercise. Whether going for walks after dinner, hitting the gym hard in the morning, or riding your bike to work, there are ample opportunities throughout the day to get some exercise in. You'll feel better, and you'll find that joy returning even when things get stressful.

Give yourself the gift of financial education

Most people have some downtime during the holidays. You could fill it with an extra helping of pie, too much wine, and hours on the couch watching football-or you could spend it improving your financial IQ.

Go to the library and get books on finance, accounting, and investing. Find some great podcasts (like the Rich Dad Radio Show) and listen to them as you cook holiday meals. Subscribe to helpful newsletters like Rich Dad Advisor Andy Tanner's. Or even play CASHFLOW online for free with friends and family.

And with your newly-gained knowledge, start making a plan on how to put it to use in the New Year. Set a goal to see how much you can learn and make between now and next holiday season.

Give back to others

We've found that when we're overly focused on ourselves, we become the worst people to be around. One of the best ways to beat the Scrooge spirit is to do what Scrooge himself did-give your time, talent, and money.

Take some time to serve those less fortunate than you this holiday season. You can go through your belongings and give away things you no longer use. You can serve at a local food bank or shelter. Or you can give to a favorite charity. The options are nearly limitless on how to give back.

One tradition that you might want to start is to participate in Giving Tuesday, which caps off consumerism’s biggest time of year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday is focused on getting people to give to their favorite charities, and it’s a good antidote to a weekend where a lot of money is spent on things that will probably be forgotten in a year’s time.

As you work on becoming a better version of yourself, you'll find that you're a better person to those around you. Put these three things into action, and you'll discover that there can be no better time than holiday time.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Rich Dad!

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