With Christmas just weeks away, the shopping season is in high gear. For the chronically ill and disabled that translates into added stress, increased pain, and debilitating fatigue, all of which can steal your joy and rob you of the season’s riches.
By following these simple tips, you can take the pain out of shopping and spend your time and energy on what matters most.
Shopping Tips for the Chronically Ill
- Make a list. Avoid wandering around the mall for hours looking for just the right gift. Instead, browse online before you go, and write down your top three or four choices for that special someone. If you feel you must see something in person before making a purchase, head on out to the stores. Preferably during off hours. On the other hand, if you can order it online, take the easy way out and purchase it online. Just be sure it will arrive in time for Christmas.
- Shop during off hours. If you need to use a day of vacation to shop during off hours, do it. In general, crowds are thinner and stores less crowed between 9 and 5 on weekdays. Pick a time when you know you will be at your best. For some, that is early in the morning. Others find they have less pain and fatigue as the day wears on.
- Invite a friend to go with you. Ask a family member or friend to go with you. If you wear out before you finish shopping, your friend might be willing to pick up one or two gifts while you sit for a while and regain your energy. Friends could also drop you off at the door while they look for a parking space or help you carry your bags when they get too heavy. Many family members and friends are willing to help. They are just waiting for you to ask.
- Donate to a local charity in your friend’s name. Your friend who recently lost her mother to cancer would most likely be deeply touched if you donated to the American Cancer Society in her name or her mother’s memory. A little note mentioning the donation with a small box of chocolate would be more than enough to express your love and appreciation.
- Devise a plan. If you holiday shopping takes you to the mall, download a map of the stores and their locations from the Internet beforehand. Make a list of which stores you plan to hit and the order in which you plan to visit each store. Prioritize the purchases you need to make, from most important to least important. That way, if your energy gives out before you’re done, you know that you have the kids and your husband covered. You can get a gift for the woman down the street next trip or just buy her a gift card from the grocery store. Most grocery stores sell gift cards to major restaurants and stores, and they are quick and easy to pick up.
By implementing these simple tips, you’ll be able to give your friends and family the gift that they really wanted all along — the gift of yourself.