Listen, we love our family a lot. But when we’re around them for extended periods of time (ahem, the holidays), things can get a little stressful. When that happens, we employ the following five strategies for carving out a little alone time.

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Bold Films

Make a Run to the Grocery Store

Are you running low on milk? How about that weird liqueur your great aunt insists on drinking every year? Even if it’s not crucial that you replace a supply that’s running low, do it. Just be aware that lines are extra long during the holidays, so it might take a while…not necessarily a bad thing.

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20th Century Fox

Take Short Meditation Breaks

Lots of apps, like Headspace, offer mini meditations as short as five minutes, meaning you can totally sneak off undetected and get in some deep breathing and positive thoughts.

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Universal Pictures

Take the Dog(s) For a Walk

Sure, this one only works if you or the person you’re staying with has a dog, but if that’s the case, a long, meandering walk with Rufus is a terrific way to escape a bustling house for a bit. Plus, the little guy needs the extra exercise what with all the pie scraps falling on the floor.

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Twenty20

Offer to Wash Dishes

Similar to walking the dog, offering to clean up after dinner is great for two reasons: one, you get to spend some time on your own, and two, you’ll earn major brownie points for lending a hand.

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CBS

Fake a Phone Call

OK, so this isn’t the noblest point on the list, but in case of emergency, you totally have our permission to download and use Fake Call Free. This free app makes your phone ring on demand, meaning your “boss” could be calling about an “important work matter” just as Uncle Tim starts talking about the election.

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