Ho-Ho-Hold the Stress

Ho-Ho-Hold the Stress

29 - Try the Hypnoskates.
Stealthily slip out the door, slip on the wheels, and loop around the park. These are the world's slickest-looking "convertible" inline skates, with removable wheel frames and walkable boots ($200; 866-289-4976; hypnoskates.com).

28 - Get into the sunlight.
Even a relatively mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (mood changes caused by a lack of sun exposure) can make you feel stressed-out and lethargic. Getting some sun early in the day will help to reset your body clock, and it may even raise your testosterone levels.

27 - Take the Slingshot Folding Bike along for the ride.
Bring your own bike for the holiday and avoid baggage charges. It checks as regular luggage (mountain or road, from $1,700; slingshotbikes.com).

26 - Eat to fill.
To keep from overeating, go low-carb, suggests nutritionist Betty Kamen, Ph.D. "Eat two hard-boiled eggs 30 to 60 minutes before the party; they fill you up," she says.

25 - Swap cash registers.
You can usually pay for an item in another department, so go where the lines are shortest, like, say, the garden department.

24 - Don't get sick.
Plan your schedule so you don't end up spending the season overworking. The combination of a stress-weakened immune system and virus-ridden co-workers can put you next in line for the office flu.

23 - Communicate—a lot.
Your wife's or girlfriend's mood may have nothing to do with you. Women have high expectations at the holidays.

22 - Give it a rest.
If you're stuck in the back of the plane (train, automobile, etc.), Eagle Creek's fleece-covered inflatable neck pillow (that inflates with two puffs) is your key to stealing zzz's ($15; eaglecreek.com).

21 - Try the GyroFlex.
This palm-size covered exercise ball is powered by hand movements that help the ball reach 9,000 rpm with a gyroscopic effect. As your arm goes to work, your mind is flooded with endorphins ($10; gyroflex.biz).

20 - Get your just desserts.
Just because you're having dessert doesn't mean you need to pick the worst one. Pumpkin pie, at 250 calories per slice, beats pecan pie or cheesecake, both at 540 calories per.

19 - Manhandle the net.
If a store has the same goods on its Web site, you can hunt online and sometimes pick up the item at a checkout counter.

18 - Beef up your midnight snack.
It's better to eat lean meat than fruit. Late at night, sugars inhibit the body's production of muscle-maintaining growth hormone.

17 - Wear orange.
It's the color of cheerfulness. Studies show that orange—the hue of sunsets and windswept fields—makes people happier.

16 - Get an upgrade.
Ask for one: Dress sharp, flash a warm smile, and a harried check-in clerk just may give you a break. (A bouquet of flowers has been known to work, too.) The less-smooth can use spare frequent-flier miles: About 10,000 per leg.

15 - Try the Friday-afternoon hammer.
A quick fix for shopping pressures, the world's only hammer with a bottle opener on one side makes a great last-second gift or guy thing ($8; urban-trend.com).

14 - Lift it off.
When arguing about whose relatives you're going to visit, break for the gym. Training raises testosterone in both sexes, elevating mood.

13 - Get the best seat on the plane.
Want to get your work done? Request an emergency-aisle seat: You get the extra legroom for your laptop. The seat doesn't recline, so you'll do more reading. Need some shut-eye? Go for a window seat in the front of the cabin—it's the quietest.


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