So, we’ve had Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The Christmas ads are running and the shops are geared up for Christmas. I’ve yet to hear Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ but it’s surely only a matter of time.
There’s no escaping it. Christmas shopping is in full swing. The chances are you’ve started. A smug few may have finished but, for the rest of us, how do we get through Christmas shopping without more than our wallets and purses hurting?
Planning is without doubt, the most important strategy. This will minimise the amount of time spent sitting with a laptop or ipad online shopping and lessen the miles walking up and down the High Stree
Make a list. Who are you buying for? What are you going to get them? Much as you may not like it, a lot of this you’ll be able to get online. Job done. And the rest? Off to the High Street with you but is there an obvious route that’ll minimise the mileage and stress
Online shopping may mean less trudging with heavy bags dodging in and out of revellers but it still may leave you vulnerable to neck and back ache if you don’t follow some common sense tips:
- Sit up at a table if you can, rather than slouch on the sofa.
- If you’re sitting in an armchair or on the sofa, have a small cushion in the small of your back.
- Do it in bursts. If you know what you’re after, it won’t take you long. If you’re searching online for ideas, then have regular breaks and walk around. You might get some inspiration whilst you do.
Hitting the High Street
Shop in Stages
Make sure you don’t leave all your Christmas shopping until the last minute. Buying all your presents or food in one go will mean carrying lots of heavy bags, which will put extra strain on your back. Stagger your shopping sprees over a few trips to lessen the load on your spine.
And whilst you’re out shopping, why not do this in stages as well. If you find yourself carrying lots of bags and your car is nearby it will only take minutes to make a quick trip back to the car to drop off your bags and continue shopping. You’ll feel much more comfortable too.
Park Close By
Leave your house in plenty of time so that you can find a parking space close to the shops. This will reduce the distance you need to walk with your shopping bags. Remember that shopping in your vicinity will get incredibly busy over the Christmas period, so try to plan your shopping trips for the quietest periods of the day to grab a good parking space!
Dodge the Crowds
It may seem impossible to avoid the crowds during the busiest shopping period of the year, but allowing your body to get nudged and jarred by frenzied Christmas shoppers can wreak havoc with your existing back pain (and can cause new problems to develop!).
Perhaps plan your shopping trips after working hours during the weekdays or visit an outlet instead of the High Street where there are likely to be less crowds. And If you’ve got a bit of annual leave left, why not take a day off for shopping and avoid the madness of weekend shopping?
Use a rucksack
Consider using a rucksack instead of carrier bags while you shop. A small wheelie suitcase is also a good alternative for heavy items. Carrying your belongings on two shoulders will balance the load on your spine and help to reduce pressure in one specific area.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Obvious but wear properly fitting shoes which have strong support and adequate cushioning. Trainers will make your day a lot more comfortable.
Take a break
Regularly take breaks. Grab a coffee and a water somewhere, rest and take stock of what’s left to do for that day. And then go again. Try and avoid the temptation of a mulled wine or beer mid-way through. It’ll only dehydrate you and leave you vulnerable to rash impulse purchases! Save it for a treat when you get home!
If you’ve had a long but successful day, and funds allow, treat yourself to an early Christmas present. From you, to you. You’ve earned it. Happy, safe shopping out there!