Save yourself from needing a break after your break with these tips on beating the top stressors this time of year:

1. Avoid December crowds

Busy stores, congested roadways and packed parking lots can make you feel like you’re on a collision course with stress. Keep your sanity by shopping during off-peak hours and allowing yourself extra time for traffic delays.

“I do most of my gift shopping online. It’s much easier and more relaxing.” —Moira Melvin, AAA Member

Visit AAA.com/OnlineMall, where you can shop online and earn AAA Dollars toward your membership renewal.

2. Declutter your social calendar

Work parties, family visits, neighborhood get-togethers—oh my! Stay sane by setting limits for yourself and others. Decide what’s most important and remember that it’s OK to say “no” to some invitations.

“Don’t try to ‘do it all,’ overloading your social calendar or trying to create the ‘perfect’ Christmas. Learn to keep it simple and, most importantly, make time to enjoy the season!” —Connie Swant, AAA Member

3. Find ways to stick to your budget

Even with modest intentions, holiday expenses can add up fast. So try a potluck approach to your seasonal festivities to avoid covering the total cost. And look for ways to keep from making your purchases all at once.

“I watch all year long for items to purchase so I can spread out my spending.” —Laura Spargo, AAA Member

Plus, with your AAA Membership, you have access to a wealth of discounts and rewards at AAA.com/Save.

4. Keep your ID to yourself

Avoid the added holiday stress of identity theft. Shop online only on secure sites with URLs that begin with “https,” and never enter sensitive info—especially financial—on public Wi-Fi.

“Use caution when buying from a website that doesn’t have any physical presence. If there’s any issue, it’s difficult to get help from a company that doesn’t have a location in the United States.”
—Gopal Padinjaruveetil, AAA Chief Information Security Officer

Your AAA Membership includes identity theft protection through ProtectMyID.

5. See your list in a new light

You’ve made a list, but instead of checking it twice, ask yourself: Is it too long? And do they all need a gift? Consider simple, homemade presents.

“I tend to place expectations on myself to provide the ‘perfect’ Christmas. We get together the best we can and enjoy the holidays in spite of the things that don’t get done. Being together is what’s really important.” —Jamie Roelle, AAA Member

Here’s another holiday stress tip: AAA Gift Memberships benefit the giver and receiver. Learn how at AAA.com/Gift.

Bonus Tip: Make Time for Yourself

Be at the top of your own to-do list this holiday season with these self-care tips and printable checklist.

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