Black-belt shoppers need breaks on Black Friday.
Skip the intermissions and you're likely to wind up with buyer's remorse; a realization that your shopping bag abounds with ghastly gifts and that your husband will probably not react with glee when he opens up the beer candle.
By treating yourself well, you'll maximize shopping efficiency - and reduce the risk of submitting yourself and loved ones to the horror of "return" lines as long as the Great Wall of China. You might even have fun.
Susan Dresner, owner of the wardrobe management service Ways and Means recommends creating a shopping list that builds in breaks every 90 minutes. "I always have a favorite restaurant I can go to where I can relax away from the hustle and hassle, gather my thoughts, and take my shoes off," she said. Your oasis needs to have self-service or proficient waiters so you can flit quickly back to the fray after a brief respite. Some good choices?
5 Ea. 20th St.
"Their hot chocolate calms me down and their pastries are divine," said Dresner.
The Café at McNally Jackson
52 Prince St.
"Home made soups, a magazine rack and it's not expensive at all," she enthused.
3 W. 18th St.
A great escape when shopping Union Square or the Flat Iron that serves simultaneously as a cafeteria, café and coffee bar.
Dresner likes to grab a bite from the Shake Shack in Madison Park and savor it before resuming a Lower Manhattan shopping marathon. The pedestrian mall on the east side of Macy's is another option to grab a snack and some bracing fresh air before heading back to crowded indoor aisles.
Dress for duress.
As with any marathon, footwear is key. You want something ultra comfortable, but also fashionable, says Dresner, who swears by Thierry Rabotins - low-heeled, round-toed shoes that feel like slippers but broadcast elegance to judge-y sales help. Other options are Geoxx and some styles by Dana Davis and Taryn Rose.
Carry along a little MELT (Myofascial Energetic Length Technique) ball. When you take a seated break, slip off your shoes and roll your foot over it to perk up weary piggies, Dresner suggested.
If you're downtown, try a 30-minute reflexology treatment or a one-hour massage with lemon verbena body polish at Great Jones Spa, 29 Great Jones St. Juvenex Spa, 25 W. 32nd St., has a thalasso therapy body contouring wrap and thermo-stone massages that also provide a deeply restorative hour. And of course, you can always grab a manicure or pedicure at your favorite personal services joint. Dresner likes Dashing Diva, which has outlets all over the city.