Data analysis and data visualization are integral processes across many professional industries and fields. But this December season, consider all the unexpected ways data can be used for your personal use. Are you traveling or hosting dinner? What gifts do you need to buy? Whatever your plans are, keep an open mind and be analytical.

Thinking of volunteering?

We love to think that spreading holiday cheer to those in need is selfless act of kindness. And while it is a kind gesture, it’s not always timed well. But people need the most help during the winter holidays. Actually, volunteer work is needed most all year round, not just in the winter. In fact, data shows the influx of volunteers during the winter holidays is so overwhelming that many are waitlisted and turned away. Organizations say volunteers are scarce throughout other seasons. But don’t let this deter your holiday goodwill! Use this data to look for local organizations in need of resources or manpower to make a bigger difference.

We’re accident prone

Driving is uncertain in wintry weather and drivers aren’t always as cautious as they should be. Holidays are stressful even on the road. The days get darker much earlier and drivers aren’t as careful as they should be. Travel is never easy during a holiday rush, but don’t put yourself and others at risk with negligent driving. Keep your eye on the weather and keep in mind that your safety is worth more that driving faster.

But wait, it doesn’t stop there. Decoration-related injuries are a real thing. Everything from tree related disaster to gift wrapping and unwrapping mishaps can send you to the hospital. Those unattended Christmas lights or candles are awfully close to flammable items. People so eager to open gifts with sharp scissors and knives that blade related injuries peak on Christmas day. There’s no telling what accident can arise, but you can always be more careful.

Gift uncertainty

Not sure what gifts to get? Unsure of how much to spend? Stressed about shopping at the mall? Data can help. 60% of consumers would like gift cards & certificates this year and more people shop online than before. Some people might think it’s a bit informal to give money as a holiday gift, but it might be the best kind of gift season. Data shows 1 in 3 people end returning a gift they don’t like.

Why is giving the perfect gift such a priority for people? Because there is a psychological link to self-worth when gift recipients like our gifts. Which explains why we stress over giving gifts at all. Our social codes set up a system of expectations that make us feel obligated to spend money. Because consumer confidence is higher than previous years and unemployment has gone down, people are feel they need to spend more on gifts, especially women. 51% of women report feeling pressured to overspend while 40% of men feel the same way.

You can also be in a state of “decision fatigue” if you’re making too many decisions in a day and lose your sense of focus and objectivity. So how can you reduce gift-giving stress? Analyze your budget and create a spending plan. Pre-plan gift ideas and interactions to avoid overwhelming decisions-making.

Winter Stress

It’s cold and dark and you’re feeling down during an otherwise “happy” time of year. But don’t fret, it’s a real thing and you’re not alone. Holiday depression strikes around the bustle of gifts and get-togethers. Christmas can destroy your emotional well-being when the amount of stress exceeds are capacity to handle it. The holidays are a special time of year for many, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of your health.

A Swedish study revealed you’re more likely to suffer a heart attack during the winter holiday season, specifically Christmas Eve.  Why? The winter holidays are marked by excessive shopping, cooking, and frenzied consumerism that physically and mentally drains people. We are constantly bombarded with images of the perfect holiday gift, feast, and family while trying to keep up with personal obligations.

Not worried about a feast? Then take a look at your home. 73% of people report stress from unanticipated home emergencies that require costly repairs. Snow and freezing temperatures can damage your home so take precautions and prepare for potential emergencies.

Holiday Cheer

Whether it’s volunteering at a food bank, alleviating stress, or picking out a sentimental gift, let data improve your holiday season.

Stay safe and happy holidays from the Boost Labs team!

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