13 Tips for Easy Shopping With Fibromyalgia

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Shopping With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Get More Done With Less Pain and Exhaustion

Shopping is more difficult when you have fibromyalgia. The cold weather can cause increased pain, yet the weight of extra layers when you bundling up can also trigger more aches and pain. Then there are the memory issues and brain fog. It’s tough to avoid shopping altogether, though.

Whether you need groceries, holiday or birthday gifts, clothing, or something else, it seems like there’s always some kind of shopping trip around the corner. While each type of shopping comes with its own potential pitfalls for those of us with these conditions, they have a lot in common that we can learn to manage. It probably won’t make shopping problem-free, but it can help lessen their impact on you.

1. Making a list and checking it twice

Create an easy-to-follow list of who you must shop for and keep it with you when you leave the house this allows you to tackle shopping whenever a moment presents itself. Out for a quick errand and have a bit of energy? Swing into the department store and buy gifts for one person on your list.

2. Keep a log of what you bought and for whom.

This will keep things straight in your memory about checking everyone off your list and knowing whose name to put on which tag when you start wrapping each item. So many times I have looked at my pile of gifts to wrap and have no memory of who get which present.

3. Good posture

When you’re shopping or walking about, you may be hunching over and not even realize. Be mindful of the way you position your spine when you stand. Standing up straight prevents you from straining your spine, preventing more back pain.

4. Wrap a present or two every week or every day.

I am very bad at wrapping presents as I buy them, or at least not waiting until the last minute. I always wait until wrapping requires endless hours on Christmas Eve, which only adds to my fatigue and gives me horrible body pain. Being hunched over presents wrapping for hours, is SO bad for fibromyalgia. Spread out all your wrapping duties over several weeks or at least several days.

5. Places to Go Lists

If you need to put a check in the bank, mail a package, pick up your prescriptions, and go to the grocery store, be sure you have a list of all those things. It helps to plan a route and put all of your stops in order.

6. Learn to say no.

It sounds simple enough, but for some of us it is so hard to do. But, if you find that your to-do list is long and the festivities out number your moments of rest, you need to pick the ones you can manage to do and say no to the others. Some people will not understand, but you must give yourself the gift of choice for the holidays and that might mean saying no.

7. Go to the store when it’s not usually busy

Go to the store when it’s not usually busy, such as first thing in the morning during the week or on Friday or Saturday night. Avoid Sundays, which tend to be busy. When the store is less crowded, you’ll have shorter lines and less traffic to contend with.

8. Ask for help

Ask for help when you are unable to reach items that are too high or too low. Grocery store staff will also help you bag your groceries and load them into your car. When you get home, arrange for a family member or friend to help you bring your purchases inside and put them away. Arrange your kitchen so that everything you need is within easy reach.

9. Shop online

A few clicks and you can accomplish so much and it is delivered to your door. A lot of grocery and big-box stores offer home delivery for a modest charge. You just submit your list and they show up with it at your house. If you’re not sure about whether a delivery fee is worth it, compare it to what the gas would cost if you drove there and back, on top of the physical price you pay. You can also check the fibro awareness online apparel store Here

10. Try to schedule shopping

Many of us with these illnesses have times of the day, week, or month than are better than others. Whenever possible, try to schedule shopping trips for your better times. Also, watch the time of day and month. If you tend to get overwhelmed in crowds, you don’t want to be in a grocery store right after 5 p.m. or on the first of the month, when everyone’s there. Shopping on Black Friday, Christmas Eve, or December 26 is not recommended!

11. Shop when you can in small increments.

This is why having a solid list will help you. If you have a bit of energy after dropping off the kids at school, head to one store and cross a couple of people off your list. Basically, pace yourself.

12. Use motorized carts

Stores have motorized carts for a good reason people like us, for whom shopping can cause pain and exhaustion. Don’t feel like you’re not “disabled enough” to use them! It’s hard to use a cane or walker while shopping, but if you don’t have to carry bags or push a cart, take it with you even if you don’t think you’ll need it that day. Better safe than sorry.

13. Find a grocery store in your area

Find a grocery store in your area that offers delivery service. Many local stores now allow you to order online and either have your groceries deliver them or pick them up at the store. If your neighborhood grocer doesn’t provide this option, check online stores like Amazon Fresh and Instacart.


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For support and Discussion join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”

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