Fibromyalgia can make grocery shopping a very daunting task. For people without chronic pain conditions, it is just another errand to get done. For those of us with chronic pain, shopping can be overwhelming and absolutely exhausting – which can often leave us having to rest for hours on end or land us in bed for days to come. You may wonder what I mean when I say shopping with fibromyalgia is a daunting task. Here is why…
Grocery shopping takes time and energy. First of all, pushing a shopping cart begins to hurt me. The heavier the cart gets, the harder it is for me to push. If I am only shopping for lighter food items, I am able to push the cart. However, if I start adding in laundry detergent, a bunch of canned items or a case of soda the cart is too heavy. If I try to push the full cart, my arms begin to ache down to the bone snd feel overworked and my neck and upper back begin to hurt beyond words. I never grocery shop alone, unless it is for just a few light items.
Walking the aisles of the grocery store also wears me out physically. What little energy I had, is now gone. My feet/toes begin to burn and ache, along with jumping pain in my legs. Who knew shopping could cause someone so much pain to result? I know the grocery store has those motorized shopping carts, but I also know if I use one I will get the “look” from people because I do not look sick.
Grocery stores can also cause sensory overload to result. Many people with fibromyalgia report sensory overload becoming an issue. Grocery stores can become loud with various noises and the lights can be very bright. Depending on what time you decide to venture out to get your groceries, it can become very busy and crowded. I tend to go complete my shopping as early as possible to beat the crowds. Even the store intercom can seem overwhelming and too loud at times.
A lot of grocery stores now offer a shop from home option. You shop online, make a shopping list and someone else will shop for you. All you have to do is go pick up the order or better yet they will delivery straight to your home. I have never used this convenient shopping option because I like to select my own produce such as apples, oranges ect. There usually is a delivery fee, but for some people it is worth shopping this way.
How to make grocery shopping easier with fibromyalgia:
1. Shop grocery stores you are familiar with. This way you know what aisles the exact food items you are looking to buy.
2. If possible take someone shopping with you.
3. Make sure you take a cart that the wheels roll easy so you won’t struggle even more pushing the cart.
4. Possibly wear earplugs if you get sensory overload while shopping.
5. Shop during quieter times to avoid crowds and added noise levels.
6. Create a shopping list before you go to the store. Most people own a smartphone and take it along with them shopping. It is easy to make a shopping list on your phone so you don’t forget your list at home.
7. Use motorized riding carts if you need to.
8. Park as close to the door as possible.