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Avoiding The Stress Of Back To School Shopping

Back to School Doodles - Hand-Drawn Vector IllustrationIf you suffer from fibromyalgia, when it comes to sending the kids back to school after the long summer holidays, it can feel like a mixed blessing.  Whilst keeping the kids entertained over the vacation period can be a particularly exhausting time, the pre-school term preparations may also comprise a different set of stresses. As ever, the key to minimising upon worry lies in careful planning and sensible pacing. In the weeks leading up to the new school term, it’s worth spending a few hours making a list of factors that you will need to take into consideration, and finding solutions to each issue. As one of your biggest concerns may well be tackling the pre-school shopping frenzy, we’ve put together a list of useful tips (with thanks to this handy article) that should help you to get started:

  • Make a list
    Start off by making a list for each child that you need to buy for.  Include everything that you can think of, from stationery to new shoes and any other new clothing items that they might need.  Make sure that you make a note of any sizing requirements so that you are fully armed and ready to go when it comes to hitting the shops
  • Home shopping
    The internet can be a great resource for anybody that suffers from fibromyalgia.  Many of the items that you need will be available on online stores, with home delivery options. Give yourself enough time to ensure that your goods arrive in time, to avoid any unnecessary last minute panic
  • Hitting the shops
    Once you have done your shopping online, there may still be a few items that you need to source in the local shops:
  • Consider asking a friend if they fancy accompanying you on a shopping trip
    Not only could they help to make the excursion more fun, they could also provide a useful second opinion on a new pair of shoes, for example. The benefit of taking a friend along is that you can ask them for a hand with any heavy bags, ask them to drive and, if you are lucky, they might be happy to stand in line for you, so you can sit down and have a much-needed rest before paying for your shopping;
  • Before you set off make a clear plan of which shops you need to visit and what items are located in each store.  A little forward planning can save unnecessary trawling around busy shops, as this can make for a tiring and stressful experience;
  • Decide what kind of shopping experience would suit you best and plan for that, for example would it make life easier for you to head to a large superstore that is likely to sell all of the items you need, or do you prefer to buy from smaller, local shops that may have more time to answer any questions that you may have (and offer a more personalised experience)? Don’t be afraid to ask the sales assistant for help in your decision-making, or lifting any awkward/heavy items.  They should be happy to give you a hand!
  • Ensure that you have made a clear note of directions and opening times before heading out.  There is nothing worse than getting lost or finding a “closed” sign when you arrive at your destination. If you are heading to multiple locations, figure out the shortest route between stores, to ensure that you make the most efficient use of your time;
  • Remember to take any medication you might need either before heading out, or with you to the shops.  If you have mobility aids, take these along too.  Even if you feel full of energy before you leave the house, you don’t want to get caught out if you suddenly hit a pain barrier;
  • Bear in mind that shops are usually quietest first thing in the morning. At this time you are also more likely to find a parking space with ease.  If morning’s are particularly bad for you, find out whether your local shops have a late opening night, which might also provide a quieter time to do your shopping;
  • Dress comfortably and check the weather report before you leave the house: getting caught out in the cold or rain unexpectedly is no fun at all, and may cause your symptoms to flare.
  • When you are out and about, check for resting spots along the way: such as benches or chairs in waiting rooms.  Take a break whenever you need to and, if you do start to feel the strain, think about treating yourself to a hot drink and a sit-down in a nice café whilst you catch your breath.

If one of your children suffers from fibromyalgia, you can also find some useful ‘back to school’ tips here.

Do let us know if you can think of any further advice on this subject, or if you have any thoughts or comments.

We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.


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