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Tips for a stress-free Black Friday

Last year more than 151 million people shopped on the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday. For bargain hunters and shopaholics alike, Black Friday may be the most anticipated shopping day of the year. However, with this shopping holiday can also come large crowds, long lines, confrontations between customers, and other challenges that can be frustrating. Fortunately, the possibility of these frustrations doesn’t have to ruin your shopping plans. Here are our tips for stress-free Black Friday shopping experience.

1. Plan ahead

Planning is the key to achieving success in any area of life, and shopping is no exception. If you know you want certain items, write down a list of those items, the prices, the stores that have them, and any other important details. This will prevent trying to go by memory and forgetting what’s on the list when you are tired and exhausted (and you will be).

2. Research online

A lot of times you can find the items you are looking for online at the same price as in-store sales. Research your retailers and see what offers they have in store and also don’t forget about “Cyber Monday” when many of the products are even cheaper.

3. Sleep in

If you don’t have to get a door-buster only offered in the wee hours of the morning, avoid the stores all together. This is actually safer because the biggest crowds tend to form in the morning when the big-ticket sale items are released to the sales floor. If you don’t have one of those on the list, avoid the headache altogether.

4. Skip Black Friday

No, seriously — skip it altogether. Even some retailers have decided to do so. For example, REI and others have opted out of Black Friday so employees can spend the day with families. You can #optoutside with REI and find yourself completely stress free and relaxed with mother nature.

5. Dress for the occasion

Lots of shopping means a lot of walking and moving. To help stay comfortable and avoid blisters, wear comfortable walking shoes and appropriate clothing. This means if you are headed into a mall, it may be warm so dress in lighter layers. If you are headed to the outlets or outdoor shops, dress warm to start and have layers you can remove easily.

6. Anticipate long lines

Anticipate long lines and waiting times. If long lines push your buttons, have a plan B — like a book you can read or an audio book to listen to while waiting in line. Also, if shopping with friends, use that time to discuss the next store to visit and other shopping plans.

7. Don’t forget to eat and drink

This seems pretty straightforward, but if you are out shopping for several hours you may not notice the time that’s gone by. Make sure you plan to break for a meal, and don’t leave the house without eating breakfast. Carry a water bottle so you are drinking well before you get dehydrated. The hungrier you get, the less you will be able to concentrate — and some people get upset or angry when they are hungry or thirsty. Dehydration can also set in before you know it. And it’s easier to keep hydrated than to rehydrate.

8. Drive with caution

As people hurry from store to store, you may encounter some traffic or driver issues. As long as you are careful you should be able to manage anything that comes your way. Always wear a seatbelt and don’t text and drive. Instead communicate while parked or wait until the next stop to call or text.

9. Have a quick coping technique ready

Deep breathing is a great way to help manage acute, in-the-moment stress by calming your mind and reducing the concentration of stress hormones in your blood. It can also help you think more clearly and concentrate under pressure. Click here for more information and learn how to get started with deep breathing.

Black Friday shopping can be pretty unpredictable, but as long as you plan ahead and manage your expectations, you should be able to come out on the other side stress free! What are your black Friday tips? Share in the comments below!