7 easy ways to help make errands less stressful

Running errands can be stressful, especially when you have a lot. They also eat up time better spent relaxing, cooking and enjoying fun with loved ones. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to get through them faster and easier. Here are seven tips sure to help.

7 easy ways to help make errands less stressful

1. Stay hydrated

Keep several bottles of water in the freezer. When it's time to run errands in the summer, grab one of them to take with you.

  • You'll have plenty of icy-cold water to drink as you go along. Nothing drags you down faster both physically and emotionally than feeling parched.

2. Change the station

Turn off the radio in your car. Instead, listen to inspirational tapes or books on CD in the car while running errands.

  • It's a lot more relaxing than listening to annoying commercials, screeching DJs, and the overall intensity of everyday radio – regardless of which station you usually listen to.

3. Keep your car trunk organized

Keep a cooler and a basket in your trunk. The cooler is to keep frozen and cold foods cold while you run errands; the basket is so you can carry parcels into the house without making umpteen trips.

  • You can also keep a stash of recyclable shopping bags if a basket takes up too much space.
  • Although you may not use the cooler or basket all the time, you'll be especially thankful you have them when the time comes that they're needed.

4. Be helpful

Studies find that helping others actually reduces our own levels of stress hormones. The result? It makes us feel better.

  • Offer to run errands for an elderly neighbour or a mother with young children.  

5. Treat yourself

Buy yourself a treat. Remember, your children aren't the only ones who occasionally need a little motivation during errand runs.

  • Before you head out, make sure you add one more item to your list – something nice for you.
  • It could be flowers, a scented bath soap, an imported brand of beer or a fancy cheese. Just remember to not go overboard and spend a lot!

6. Bring the kids along

If you're a dad, run errands with your child.

  • A recent study found that children who clean, cook and do household errands with their fathers are better behaved and have more friends.
  • An added bonus: the wives of these men find them more sexually attractive.

7. Share responsibilities

Alternate tasks with your neighbours or the parents of your children's friends. Some good examples include:

  • One week you do the grocery shopping for your neighbour; the next week she does it for you.
  • Ask your friend to watch your children while you do the errands for both families (or vice versa).

Another option is to do errands with a friend.

  • Not only will you benefit from the social support, but your children might just be better behaved if there's another adult there.
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