How to Beat Black Friday Stress

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Black Friday – a day famous for long lines, scary stampedes and even pepper spray - can be stressful. But with a bit of preparation, you can get great deals without the headache.

Check out these tips to beat Black Friday stress.

Use Bricks and Clicks

You might be tempted to avoid the lines by shopping online, but spreading out purchases between stores and sites can help cut stress, according to a 2011 market research study.

“You would think sitting in an armchair wearing a robe waiting for a site to go live would be far less stressful,” John Ross, chief executive officer of Shopper Sciences, told ABCNews.com. “Even though you don’t have the pushing and shoving, shopping purely online tends to be pretty stressful, too.”
Ross said people who shopped in stores and online experienced less stress and spent more money overall, possibly because they found more good deals.

“You can browse online, do your shopping in the morning, have your turkey in the afternoon, line up your day for going into the stores on Friday, and then hit the stores early and get the best of both the online and the offline deals,” Best Buy Online president Scott Durschlag told ABC’s Good Morning America. “It’s really bricks and clicks.”

Tap the Apps

A new set of smartphone apps can help you manage coupons and compare deals on the go. And with online price tags fluctuating throughout the day, some apps can even also help you decide when to pull the trigger.

Don’t Sweat It in Line

The dread of waiting in long snaking lines can quash the excitement of finding great Black Friday deals, according to a 2011 market research study that measured shopper stress with sweat-sensing bracelets.

“The data shows the highest stress level occurred while shoppers were waiting for the store to open,” Shopper Sciences’ Ross said. “Once the store was open, shoppers were really happy, until they had to wait in the checkout line.”

But some simple relaxation techniques can help you keep your cool. Tell yourself, “There’s nothing I can do about it,” Dr. Redford Williams, director of Duke University’s Behavioral Medicine Research Center, said of waiting in lines. “Instead of fuming at the slowness, take a deep breath and say, ‘There’s no way I can make those people go faster, so I might as well just chill.”

Keep It Clean

It’s cold-and-flu season, and busy stores teem with germs. Make sure you bring home deals and not diseases like the flu by arming yourself with a flu shot and hand sanitizer. And be particularly careful when testing toys and electronics fondled by thousands before you.

“Try out your candidate iPhone, look at it, play with it, and then do your hand sanitizer thing,” Dr. William Schaffner, president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., told ABCNews.com.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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