Grocery shopping is Stressful

Brene Brown just posted this:

Comparative suffering. Empathy rationing. I do that a lot.

Example: Grocery shopping is so stressful right now.

Maybe you can relate (or maybe not) — whenever that thought crosses my mind, another thought immediately pops up and goes, How could I even think that? There’s so much privilege in that statement. I’m able-bodied, financially secure, young, and relatively healthy. What right do I have to be stressed out about meal planning and visiting the grocery store?

As it turns out, nobody is concerned about the nature of my specific stresses and whether they’re valid — other than myself. Surprise surprise.

So let this be my uncomfortable and unfettered attempt at owning how stressful I am finding meals and groceries right now.

I find myself unconsciously holding my breath when I’m outdoors, especially when there are people nearby. As you might imagine, this causes lightheadedness and other weird sensations.

Two people eating three meals a day at home go through a lot of food. It’s hard to come up with twenty meals every two weeks – and meals that will be enjoyed by two people who are often not on the same page about what they want to eat.

When I arrive at the store armed with a grocery list, I invariably find that most of those items are not available. In fact, there isn’t much of anything. But I must not leave empty-handed, because then I’ll have to come back and experience this all over again.

There is so much palpable panic in the air. I have almost crashed into other store patrons multiple times because we find ourselves doing a weird frenzied dance to avoid contact with each other.

I have no hand sanitizer. The store is often out of wipes.

Everybody is talking about COVID-19.

Things are changing on the daily. Limits on eggs. No store returns. Masking tape on the floor. Seating area closed. Change is stressful, even if not on a conscious level.

There you go. My little inner critic is screaming at me right now for whining about something like going grocery shopping. But my point here is that I can own and process my stress while ALSO being appreciative of all the things. I can be stressed about my ‘small’ stuff AND truly mourn and grieve how this epidemic has disproportionately affected more vulnerable folks.

And finally: This is an incredibly challenging time for anyone struggling with disordered eating or any obsessive/compulsive behaviors around food. Especially because they might not feel that their struggles are as valid as other struggles. If you are that person or know that person, please be kind <3. Also, check out this fantastic resource.