How to Navigate Holiday Shopping with Chronic Pain

holiday shopping

The holidays have arrived, bringing with them the fun of family time, delicious recipes and the challenges of holiday shopping. When you live with chronic pain, normal shopping can seem difficult. However, when you add in the stress and excitement of holiday shopping, you may feel like it’s nearly impossible. Here are some tips to help you navigate holiday shopping with chronic pain.

Make a List and Check It Twice

Organize yourself ahead of time. Make a list of the gifts you want to buy for people. Walking up and down aisles and wandering through stores could increase your pain level and fatigue. Be thorough in your list. Note sizes for clothing, colors, toys and any other important information.

Write down the person’s name next to the gift on your list, too. This way you’ll be able to refer to the list after shopping when you’re wrapping presents.

Shop Online

Skip the store altogether and shop online. You can sit comfortably on your couch with your feet up and buy those perfect gifts from your home. You won’t have to stand in line, walk through the store or be stuck in holiday crowds either.

Often, stores offer special deals on shipping or online-only deals during the holiday season. Check the stores’ information to see what kinds of deals they may be running.

Think About Gift Cards

While giving everyone on your list a gift card to a store may not work, there are some people that it would be the perfect gift for. Don’t sweat it if you can’t find something for someone. Consider a gift card. This way the person will be able to shop for something specific and will be sure to get just the right thing.

Dress Comfortably

If you have to go to the store, you’ll have to do some walking. Make sure you’re comfortable. Wear comfy shoes and clothes. If you put something on and it feels a little uncomfortable, change your clothes, because it will feel much worse after a couple of hours of shopping. Dress with your comfort in mind.

Use Mobility Aids 

If your pain sometimes causes you to need to use a cane, walker or wheelchair, make sure you have them with you, or know where you can find one in the store. After a couple hours of shopping or standing in line, you may need some help getting around. Many stores have motorized wheelchairs with baskets on them to help you get around the store with ease.

Ask for Help

When you’re at the store and can’t find something, don’t walk around searching for it. Ask for help. Store employees will be happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, so you won’t have to waste your time and energy.

If they don’t have the item in stock, ask them to order it for you. Many stores will order an item for you at the store. All you have to do is pay for it before you leave, and they will ship it to your house.

Bring Someone with You for Heavy Lifting 

Lifting something heavy may increase your pain. If you know there’s something on your list that’s heavy, consider asking a friend to go with you to do the heavy lifting. You can also ask one of the store’s employees to help you carry the item to your car. Once you’re home, ask for help from a friend of family member, too.

Take Breaks When You Need Them 

You don’t have to be in a rush. Take your time and go at your own pace. You can stop and rest anytime you need to. If it’s too much to do all your shopping at once, break it up into two or three parts. The most important thing is staying as pain-free as possible.

Navigating holiday shopping with chronic pain doesn’t have to wear you out completely. With these steps, you’ll be finished with your holiday shopping in no time at all, and ready to have fun with your family and friends.


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