Shopping is hard…

So, I have a bit of anxiety when it comes to crowds and really busy places. This makes going to stores at busy times a little bit difficult, especially when I’m trying to get in and get out quickly and everyone around me seems to be moving extra slowly. I try to schedule my store trips for less busy times, but that doesn’t always work out.

Especially at this time of year. Anyone who shares this anxiety or something similar can imagine how I feel when I’m trying to shop during the holidays when everyone is shopping all of the time, no matter what time you go to the store. And it’s not even just stores that you’d expect people to be buying gifts from. It’s everywhere, including the grocery store. I’m sure people have started buying food for their Christmas parties and meals and baking already.

All of this makes it very hard to go shopping, both for Christmas things and regular grocery shopping. I had to go out on Sunday and again on Tuesday, to shop for groceries, gifts, and some last minute necessities before my husband and I go out of town this weekend. Sunday was worse, I think, because I had to go multiple places and everyone else was out shopping as well. It took me close to three hours to get everything that I needed, and afterward I felt like I needed to be alone and not see or speak to anyone for the rest of the evening. I was both physically and mentally drained.

Because of that, I wasn’t looking forward to going out again yesterday, but it was going to be my last real opportunity before the weekend (and I’m definitely not going the go out shopping on Christmas Eve). I don’t think it was quite as busy as Sunday, and I did only need to go to one place, so the overall experience wasn’t quite as terrible. But I was definitely glad to go home and be alone afterwards.

The only really difficult part of the outing was that I had to ask for help, which is something that really makes me anxious. I don’t think I could have avoided it even if I didn’t need help, because this store is the kind of place where the employees wait for you to come in and then practically beg to help you find what you’re looking for. But I really did need the help, so I’m torn, because I hate having to talk to employees in stores, but I don’t think I would have found what I was looking for otherwise.

Does anyone else feel like this? I’d love to know if there’s anything that helps you feel less anxious, especially when you can’t avoid being in that kind of situation. Please let me know in the comments!

Alyss

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