With lockdown restrictions in place, it can be difficult to feel relaxed in any setting. We are all spending lots of time at home to stop the spread of the virus. However, the times when we may need to go out can be stressful and cause anxiety. An essential trip to the supermarket can be a source of stress, especially for those who are most vulnerable to the virus. Today’s article will give you some simple tips to help relieve ‘shopping anxiety’ during the pandemic.
In lockdown, many of us have lots of time on our hands. The guidance in England is to stay at home except for essential reasons such as exercise, work, and going to the supermarket. If you feel particularly anxious about getting the virus, it’s a good idea to order your grocery shopping online and have it delivered. All of the UK’s major supermarkets offer online shopping and many reserve delivery slots to give vulnerable people priority.
However, if you don’t feel able to order your shopping online, you might need to keep going to the supermarket in person. In this case, preparation is the best way to relieve anxiety and keep yourself safe.
Before you go to the shops, try taking a few minutes to check in with yourself. Acknowledging your feelings is a helpful first step – try writing down any worries you’re feeling before you go. Be sure to write a shopping list in advance too. This way, you won’t have to spend extra time in the shop deciding what to buy. You’ll be able to get in and out as efficiently as possible, minimising time in the supermarket. This is a simple, practical way to relieve anxiety while shopping.
Another simple tip to relieve anxiety and stress while shopping during the pandemic is to use sound. If you’re particularly fearful about the virus, you might associate the sounds of the supermarket with anxiety. To nip this in the bud, you could listen to your favourite songs, audiobooks, podcasts, or nature sounds through some headphones while you shop. Music can be very soothing – in fact, we’ve already discussed music therapy in a previous blog.
Alternatively, you might want to look for a meditation or mindfulness app on your smartphone. Many of these apps include useful breathing exercises which can help you feel grounded when anxiety starts to take hold. A popular example is an app called Headspace. It offers guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, and soothing sleep sounds to help you relieve anxiety. The app is free to download and comes with a two-week free trial. After that, you’ll need to pay for a subscription at either £9.99 per month or £49.99 annually.
While it’s vital that we all stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus, it’s also important to feel safe and confident when we need to step outside. If you’re feeling anxious about going to the shops, try changing the time that you leave. Going in the afternoon or evening could be a source of more anxiety, as you might worry about it all morning until it’s time to leave. In addition, supermarkets tend to be busier in the evenings as people tend to pop in after finishing work. If you’re able, try going to the supermarket first thing in the morning on a weekday instead. This means you won’t spend so much of your day worrying about the trip. It also means the supermarket will usually be quieter, so you’ll have less anxiety about social distancing. You’re also less likely to have to queue outside in the cold!
If your current routine is causing you anxiety, making a total overhaul can feel daunting. Instead, try changing one thing at a time and pay attention to how this change makes you feel. If it helps you relieve anxiety and stress, keep it. If it makes you feel more anxious, find a way to do it differently.
That brings us to the end of today’s article. We’ve shared three simple tips to help you relieve stress and anxiety when you go shopping during the pandemic. We hope you’ve found them helpful.
The coronavirus pandemic is a very challenging time for everyone, so remember to follow the latest guidelines in your area to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Make sure that your GP has your up-to-date contact details and look out for any letters, emails, or messages about the coronavirus vaccine.
If you or someone you know would benefit from some extra support at home, whether that’s help managing a medical condition or just keeping up with cleaning and hygiene tasks, Abing Homecare can help. We offer homecare solutions for people with a wide variety of needs. We can arrange domiciliary care visits to help you with any tasks you’re finding difficult. Alternatively, if you need round-the-clock support, we can find the perfect live-in carer for you. Get in touch today to arrange a free Needs Assessment.