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Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Tips That’ll Keep You Cool, Calm, and Collected

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Use these tips to get through any last-minute holiday shopping adventures without losing your cool

Even those of us who pride ourselves on being relatively calm and collected during high-stress situations can get frazzled by holiday shopping. The lines, the crowds, the list of people you need to buy gifts for, the price tags slowly adding up . . . it’s a lot.

If you end up having a handful of last-minute holiday gifts to pick up, don’t freak out! Read on for tips that will help you stay cool, calm, and collected — even when you’re stuck in a line 30-people deep.

Holiday Shopping Tips to Help You Feel Calm When You’re Stressed

Make a Detailed List — and Bring It With You

Writing a list of who you’re buying gifts for and what they may want is a great way to streamline your process — but it only works if you remember to bring it with you! Bonus points for marking down which stores might have what each person wants.

Set Aside a Whole Day

When most of us decide to do last-minute holiday shopping, we tell ourselves we’ll just “get in and get out,” and then have to deal with bubbling rage when that plan is foiled before we even get into the store (Read: insane parking lots). Keeping your day free of any other obligations will allow you to take things like a huge parking lot or a distracted sales associate in stride.

Sport Comfy Clothes & Shoes

Veto any articles of clothing that make you sweat more than usual, that make walking for a while uncomfortable, or that make you feel frumpy or bad about yourself. Feeling positive and comfortable are two very important factors for overcoming other stressors that are out of your control.

Avoid That “Hangry” Feeling

Even though you’re heading into a shopping mall and not hiking a mountain, being sure that you stay properly nourished is important not just for energy, but for your mood, too. Research is starting to find a connection between a drop in blood sugar and mood, and nothing adds to a stressful situation more than a negative attitude and an empty stomach.

Remember: What Will Be, Will Be

It may sound deep, but taking this thought with you into a crowded store can really help with stress and anxiety. Did someone just grab the sweater you were eyeing? Did you get cut in line? Have you been to three stores and still can’t find that very specific action figure your toddler cousin wants? While we can’t control the actions of others or the environment around us, we can control how we react to it. And isn’t the motivation behind buying gifts for others to spread happiness and cheer? Try to tap into the spirit of the season when things get a little tough, and see if it doesn’t brighten your whole outlook!

And for those scenarios when stress-induced headaches are just unavoidable, Excedrin Tension Headache has you covered. Find fast relief for head, neck, and shoulder pain associated with stress and tension, and get back to feeling merry and bright this holiday season.