Grocery shopping. Ugh! I have struggled to make myself go to the grocery store for years now.
In Denver, we have a chain of grocery stores called King Soopers. Before I knew that I was an empath, I lived in Capitol Hill near downtown and the nearest King Soopers was totally overwhelming to me. I cooked and ate at home for most meals, so I needed to buy groceries fairly often. But shopping caused me so much anxiety that I was constantly procrastinating and running out of food.
The parking lot was tiny so it was always full. Parking really stresses me out! I'd much rather park far away from the door and walk just to avoid the mess of getting stuck behind people who are trying to back out and leave the lot. But this wasn't even an option at this store. So, I was constantly struggling to park.
Another option was to walk to the store. It was about 10 blocks. But since I was always procrastinating my shopping, I needed to buy more than I could comfortably carry the mile back to my apartment. So, I fought through the parking lot in order to stock up for the next 7-10 days.
When I finally parked and went inside, the place was huge! The bright lights overwhelmed me. They played terrible music, which set my nerves on edge, and the aisles were packed with shoppers and carts.
I don't know about you, but I'm not great at making decisions. I'm not sure if this is the case for every empath, but it's definitely a symptom of anxiety. When my anxiety was ramped up by the shopping trip, then my decision-making abilities were even lower. Walking through the store and trying to decide what to buy was terrible.
My thoughts went something like this...Yogurt is on my list. But which brand? I like the Chobani yogurts. Or should I get the Fage? No, let's just go with Chobani. But which flavor? I like the fruit, but it has a lot of sugar. So, should I just get the plain to cut out the sugar? Or maybe the one with honey. No, I should cut back on sugar. Ok, I'll get the plain. I guess I should get the large container to save money and cut out waste. Picking it up...just about it put it in my cart...But wait, the Fage yogurt is on sale! Well fuck. Let's start all over.
And that was just one item! Maddening! The anxiety just grew and grew.
Dealing with all of the people in the store was another challenge. That store was always busy. Families with crying kids, homeless people outside the door talking to themselves, people talking on their cell phones, cute guys roaming the aisles and buying frozen pizza. It was so much stimulation for a sensitive empath with no awareness or energy boundaries! Plus, I would absorb emotions from all of these people and not even realize it.
I would somehow make all of those choices for each item on my list and make it through the shopping trip. I would arrive home with the food I needed and an extra side of energy and emotions that I had picked up from the other shoppers. And I'd wonder why I felt so tired and drained. I didn't understand why I couldn't just be an adult and do a simple thing like grocery shopping without almost falling apart.
At the time, I didn't know that I was an empath, and I didn't have a lot of tools to deal with my anxiety.
Now, grocery shopping is easier, but it's still not my favorite thing. I still avoid that particular King Soopers even though it's the closest one to where I live. Now that I'm more in tune with the energy of the store, I can feel that it's overwhelming and just too much to put myself through on a regular basis. If I do need to go there for a specific item, I imagine a disco ball around my energy field so that everything will be deflected away from me and I won't absorb anything that's not mine. Then I come home and smudge myself or do an energy clearing meditation (check out the free one below). Just to make sure I don't have any sneaky energies hanging on.
I also do better if I shop at Trader Joe's because they have less selection and the decision making isn't so overwhelming. And since I'm self employed, I can plan my trips at times that aren't so busy. Like Tuesday mornings at 9 am instead of Sunday afternoons.
What about you? Can you relate to my personal grocery shopping hell? Let me know in the comments below what tools you use to cope with the grocery store.
And, the next time you get home from the store and you're feeling yucky, try my Detach from Negativity guided meditation. This will help clear away any low vibe, unwanted energies that you might have picked up from your shopping trip. Download it here.