We're officially in the thick of the holiday season and that means malls everywhere are jam packed with shoppers, which makes the entire gift shopping experience oh so very stressful.
Yes, you can get a lot of gift shopping done online, but sometimes a trip to the mall is necessary when someone on your list wants a hard-to-find item, or when you need a last-minute gift for a secret Santa, or you just can't resist those crazy-good in-store deals.
If you absolutely have to brave the crowds and hit up the mall this month, there are a few things you can do to make the experience less stressful. Here are five strategies for survival:
Set an Intention Before Arriving
Before you even set foot inside the mall, take a moment to set an intention of how you want the shopping trip to go. You can even do a mini visualization and see yourself easily finding everything on your list. Going into it with a positive mindset, rather than looking at it like a dreadful chore, will make shopping so much easier.
Create a Game Plan Ahead of Time
Writing a very specific shopping list and checking the mall's online directory to plan out which stores you're going to visit ahead of time puts you in control of the situation and will make it overall less stressful. You won't feel overwhelmed with options when you arrive and you won't run the risk of forgetting someone of your list.
Use Long Lines to Practice Deep Breathing
Instead of obsessively checking Instagram while you wait in long checkout lines, make the most out of those few minutes by centering yourself with some deep mindful breaths. It will help ease anxiety and give you the extra boost of energy you need to hit up the next store on your list.
During the holidays, mall parking lots are downright chaotic. Instead of circling the parking spots near the door for 20 minutes, go for the spots that are the farthest away from the entrance. A little bit of extra walking will save you time and stress. For an even easier parking experience, valet park if it's available.
Shop in the Mornings and on Weekdays
Most holiday shoppers get their shopping done in the evenings after work and on the weekends. So if you pencil in your shopping trip on a weekday morning you won't have to deal with the crowds. The other perk of shopping early is that the stores will still be nice and tidy and easy to peruse.
What are your best strategies for handling hectic holiday season shipping?