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How to Stay in Good Shape During Black Friday

How to Stay in Good Shape During Black Friday

Could Black Friday be the end to your optimal health? It would be hard to not think of this being a possibility. Staying up all night in a store filled with high stressed holiday shoppers can certainly raise your anxiety. Coupled with the fact that you are still digesting your heavy Thanksgiving dinner, Black Friday can certainly throw you out of shape for a few days if you don’t plan well in advance. Here are a couple of tips I will be using this Black Friday to ensure that I’m alert, healthy, and well rested.

Wednesday Afternoon: Plan Your Attack

This is the time when you should be focusing on planning your Black Friday. It’s highly recommended at this stage to have a list of stores you are wishing to visit during Black Friday. Your plan of action should include times, Black Friday ads, and what you plan to purchase at each store. This will allow you to know whether there are any conflicting sales, requiring you to add some additional shoppers to your arsenal.

Wednesday Night: Rest, Cook, Repeat

Your Black Friday is planned out, missions are now assigned, now it’s time to actually work on what’s actually important – Thanksgiving cooking. If you are hosting this year, Wednesday evening should be reserved for cooking and resting. Begin cooking refrigerated foods (potato salads, etc) Wednesday afternoon, along with the turkey, and saving hot foods for the next morning. Be sure to have a person or alarm to periodically wake you to check on the turkey and other foods cooking.

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Thursday Morning: All Set and Ready

Now is crunch time. This is the point when all Thanksgiving cooking should come to a finish. Aside from desserts and a few side dishes, your main focus should be on prepping the home and yourself for the meal. If you are able to sneak in a late morning (11AM or noon) nap, that would do your body a huge favor. Depending on your family, guests usually arrive around 2PM or 3PM, so plan your nap accordingly.

Thursday Evening: On Your Mark

Hopefully your Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch! Now it’s time for war in the stores. This year, most stores are starting their sales Thanksgiving evening at 8PM. If you want to ensure your item is still in stock before midnight, it’s crucial to at least take a look at these sales. As always, ensure you are well rested, dressed, and prepared. If needed, recruit a couple of family members to man each store you can’t be at.

Friday: Shop ‘Till You Almost Drop

With many sales starting Thursday, you should be well into your shopping by Friday morning. However, between Thursday and Friday, there is a possibility for some rest or at least sit-down time. After the midnight sales have come and gone, you have a nice grace period between 12:30AM and 4:00AM, before the second round of sales occur. Use this time wisely to drop off the first load of your purchases.

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During Friday, it’s crucial to continue to make these frequent home visits. You don’t have to take a nap each time, but unloading every so often will allow you to have less to carry when you are officially done. From Friday afternoon on, use this time to truly enjoy your weekend off work or classes. You won’thave another one of these for a couple of weeks, so make the most of it and marvel at your new haul of gifts.

The Snack Pack:

The most important thing to remember during Black Friday is to not only eat, but to eat well. It is just as easy to forget to eat as it is to eat unhealthy. You are on the run and fast food is very appealing. This can be curved by having these four important meals for the duration of your shopping (a nice breakfast, quick snacks, a smart lunch, and a light late afternoon meal). Why, might you ask?

A hearty breakfast is key because chances are, you weren’t in the mood to eat Thursday evening after that large Thanksgiving dinner. This makes it much easier to skimp on breakfast Friday morning. Quick snacks throughout the day preserves that satisfied feeling while shopping, while also providing much needed energy. The most ignored meal is lunch on Friday, this is key for getting a good chunk of Friday’s nutrients, with a light afternoon meal allowing for an easily digestible meal, just in case you crash and sleep Friday evening)

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Mixed nuts, protein filled, and smart energy sources are nice to have with you. Don’t go for the coffee, but go rather for natural drinks. If you find yourself with a killer headache without your coffee, opt for the least amount of additions as possible (no to lattes, yes to black coffee with light creme and sugar).

The Dress Code:

Black Friday is an awkward time in terms of how to dress. You are out in the cold, very early in the morning, while still trying to look your best after slaving over a huge dinner for a ton of guests. No one will look like they are going to the Oscars on this day, go for more athletic clothing (jeans, no – sweatpants – yes). Have a hat and gloves, with an extra pair of socks in the car, along with your coat, to ensure you’re always warm in the early morning chill.

How are you spending Black Friday? Let us know in the comments, also don’t forget to check out Lifehack’s 8 Tips for Surviving Black Friday(Ed: or if you need help in planning out your holiday activities check out the Lifehack Lesson that will help you organize your day)

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Featured photo credit: Portrait of big family sitting at festive tablevia Shutterstock

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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