More Life Strategies

A Guide to Palm Reading

Kay Packard, the founder of the American Academy of Hand Analysis, in Three Rivers, California, explains the fortune-teller party trick.

What Is a Great Gift for the Person Who Has Everything?

Maybe Mom finally realized that she has all the kitchen utensils she needs. Or you can’t bear to add (again) to Aunt Matilda’s compact collection. It’s time to think out of the gift box. Try one of these clever suggestions, courtesy of Real Simple readers.

The Bush Sisters Wrote the Obama Girls A Letter

Wise words from one set of (former) first daughters to another. 

16 Ways to Start the Day Off on the Right Foot

It’s not easy to begin your morning on the right foot when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. This month, Real Simple readers share the A.M. rituals that help them rise and shine.

5 Ways to Relax Already      

When the going gets tough, chill yourself out.

10 Ways to Cope With Anxiety

Need help managing your worries? Follow this psychologist’s advice.

5 Ways to Cope With Uncertainty

According to Dante’s Inferno, Limbo is the first circle of Hell. And you know why: It’s not easy to face an ambiguous future. So lean on these smart strategies, courtesy of experts ranging from a brain scientist to an Olympian.

How to Slow Down and Enjoy Life

Sometimes it seems as though days have two speeds: hurried and breakneck. Want to learn how to hop off the roller coaster? Five savvy experts who know all about the fast track—including a website founder and a race-car driver—share their strategies.

3 Ways to Break Bad Holiday Shopping Habits

’Tis the season of temptations. No wonder you end up busting your budget every December. Learn how to resist your worst buying habits and your favorite retailers’ enticements, from free hot chocolate to, yes, even “Jingle Bell Rock.”    

The Ultimate Holiday Return Policy Guide

When the holidays have come to a close and you have a pile of gifts that just didn’t work, the last thing you want to do is schlep to the store only to find out you can’t make a return. There’s nothing more annoying than waiting in the long returns and exchanges line at the department store or boutique. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be as painful as it seems and you’ll still be able to return your item to get something that you’ll really want to use. If you don’t feel like reading through the fine print on the gift receipt or website, you’re in luck. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you with this list of popular retailers and their holiday return policies. With some, you’ll have to return as soon as possible (like within a week or two), but for others you have a bit more time to figure out if you want to keep the item or exchange it for something else. We even included whether you can return the item for a refund or gift card, or exchange it for something else in store. Plus, there are guidelines on if there are any exceptions to the policy—for instance, if you can still bring it back to the store if you’ve opened the packaging, or if it was personalized with your initials. Take a look at the list on the next pages and write down some notes so you don’t have to stress.