10 Shopping Tips for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Patient Expert

Shopping of any kind can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful. Add RA to that equation and you could find yourself avoiding shopping altogether. But it doesn't have to be that daunting—follow these ten simple tips to make shopping an easier experience. Hey, you may even end up enjoying it

1. Start Early

**

Thinkstock

**

Whether it is Christmas shopping, birthday present shopping, or food shopping, it is best to start early.  Rushing around is not good for those of us living with RA.  In addition to the physical stress rushing puts on our bodies, it also drains us of our emotional energy. Shopping should be fun!

2. Make a List

**

Thinkstock

**

Making a list before you shop helps keep you focused.  A list ensures you don't forget something or someone.  Just remember to take the list with you when you shop!

3. Shopping Online

Christmas shopping online is so easy.  Most of the retail stores honor their "Good Friday" promotions online as well as in their brick and mortar outlets.  There is always "Cyber Monday."  You can even choose to have your items gift-wrapped and sent directly to the recipient.  If you live in an urban area, you may be able to do your grocery shopping online, and have your purchases delivered to your home.

4. Plan Your Day

**

Thinkstock

**

Decide which stores you are going to visit on your shopping day.  Choosing stores that provide motorized shopping carts can save you a lot of time and energy.

5. Take your "Grabber" with You

**

Thinkstock

**

I always take my "Grabber" with me.  It is an aluminum tool that allows me to reach items that would otherwise be out of reach.  Sometimes fellow shoppers will offer to help.  I let them.  I have met a number of nice people while shopping.  They brighten my day!

6. Bring Bottled Water

Don't forget to bring along a bottle of water.  A lot of us dehydrate easily.  Being dehydrated can make a person tired and grumpy.  That could ruin any shopping trip.

7. Know Where the Best Restrooms Are Located

Knowing where the best public restrooms are located can save your shopping trip.  Some restrooms are plain nasty!   Some are really not handicapped accessible.  I make a point of knowing where the most clean and accessible restrooms are locatedwhenever I plan a shopping day.

8. Take a Break

**

Thinkstock

**

If you find yourself running out of energy, take a break.  Most stores, including grocery stores, have a break area.  Nothing like a mocha latte to rejuvenate a weary body and mind.

9. Don't Hesitate to Ask for Help

**

Thinkstock

**

If you cannot find what you are looking for, ask for help.  The clerks in the store are generally very knowledgeable, and more than willing to assist you with your purchase.  Sometimes they are able to suggest alternatives, if the item you are looking for is out of stock.

10. Keep Packages Light

Ask the cashier to make sure your packages do not weigh more than ten pounds each.  Better to make several trips with lighter parcels, than to damage your joints and tendons.  Keeping things light will enable you to enjoy many more shopping adventures!

Happy shopping!