4 Black Friday Activities That Are Better Than Shopping

Outdoor industry giant REI recently announced it will be closed on Black Friday, paying employees to be outside rather than stuck behind a register. With this news came gasps of disbelief by those who are slaves to the mall on Black Friday each year, but for others, this announcement is serving as a reminder of what’s really important. This year, ditch the crowds and choose to celebrate your health, friends, and family by doing something you love.

1. Treat yourself to a fitness class

men working out with stationary bike, cycling, exercise

Source: iStock

Take advantage of the fact that you have the day off from work, and sign up for your favorite class that you’re typically unable to attend. Dying to work off yesterday’s meal? Indulge in a cardio class with your favorite instructor at the gym. Looking for some personal time away from the family, but still itching for a great workout? Splurge on a personal training session with an expert trainer. Need to get back to a more meaningful state of mind and looking to get centered? Take a yoga class and reap all the benefits of peace, serenity, and meditation rather than chaos, long lines, and spending money.

2. Visit your grandparents

Whether you think about them or not, it’s likely that your grandparents, or elderly family members, often think about you. As you go about your life, keeping busy and running from one social engagement to the next, you might be on their minds more than you think. Regardless of whether or not you have family at a nursing home, make a point to visit someone you know who lives at an assisted living residence. The couple of hours you take out of your day will make their entire week.

3. Volunteer

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

There’s no better time of year than the holidays to give back. Show your appreciation for your good fortune by dedicating some time to those who haven’t been so fortunate. Whether you’re helping a family that’s been homeless for years or an individual who recently lost his job and is down on his luck, there’s no reward quite as good as knowing you’ve made an impact in another person’s life. Look to your local community for opportunities to get involved, such as devoting an afternoon to helping serve food at a soup kitchen, or spending time at a local youth drop-in center for a day of shooting hoops and being a positive role model for kids who’ve come from broken homes.

4. Plan ahead to ease the holiday rush

We can all relate to wanting to enjoy a cozy post-Turkey Day afternoon in, so why not take advantage of your time at home? In between leftover sandwiches and reheating the apple pie, try making a point of outlining what’s in store for the month of December.

Unfortunately, our society has become obsessed with gift-buying madness and the best decorated house on the block, but don’t let the looming holiday season get a hold of you. Instead, make some plans. Write down a list of anyone you have to get a present for. Pick out all the recipes for meals you’ll be responsible for making. Create a calendar for social engagements you’ll be attending. Mapping out these simple things will make a world of difference, and might actually allow you to enjoy the holidays, rather than suck you into the annual frenzy.

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