For some, the simple act of leaving the house to go food shopping has become a scary and daunting mission. Not only do you have to go to a place where a large amount of people congregate you also have to try and keep your distance. But sometimes, this is easier said than done.

Considering the amount of signage and staff reinforcing the rules and regulations, people STILL don’t do as they’re told. And it can be really frustrating but also quite terrifying. The government and the media have been drilling into us for the past 12 weeks that we must adhere to the guidance and follow it as closely as possible. Sadly, we can only control our actions, not those of the people around us who might be causing us the anxiety. However, it’s always useful to remember that the supermarkets are on our side. They’ve put yellow tape on the floor to make sure we keep our distance, there’s antibacterial hand gel available as you enter the supermarket and arrows directing people around the store.

Below are four ways of dealing with supermarket anxiety during lockdown:

  1. Listen to some relaxing music or an app like Headspace to help you get around the store as calmly as you can
  2. Take deep breaths, in for four seconds, hold for four seconds and out for six seconds
  3. Get somebody else to go with you keep you company but also to help reassure you along the way and act like a barrier between you and other people
  4. Visit a favourite aisle like the clothes, books or music aisle to ground you and distract you

Karl always lets me take a trip to the book aisle when we go shopping. It’s something about being able to pick up the books and leaf through them that makes me feel calm. However, I have noticed that I get quite anxious at the moment when I can’t stop and look. I feel like I need to keep moving so as not to be in the way or break the rules. It’s not as enjoyable as it was previously. Looking and shuffling isn’t quite the same!

Luckily, I don’t get anxiety about being in a crowd or being near other people at the moment. I get angry when people don’t follow the instructions and make my anger known (well, passive-aggressively!). However, I do everything I’m supposed to be doing and make sure that I’m not a problem for someone else who isn’t as happy to be there as me.

I really hope that if you’re someone who is feeling anxious about shopping, that you’ll be able to use a few of my tips above to help you through it. If you can’t bring yourself to go, why not ask a friend to shop for you instead? That way you can keep your distance but get the essentials you need and look after yourself at the same time.