Take the confectionery/sweet aisle as an example. When I walk down there it really is a sea of colour. So many bright and colourful packets shout at me for my attention.
This can be really difficult when I just need to find something specific and go. I can’t see properly and I can just hear noise when I look at the packaging like all the brands are yelling their names.
There is so much sensory input when I am in a place like a supermarket:
- Atmospheric but actually quite annoying background music…
- Lots of different smells from different counters (deli, fish, cheese, bakery, the list goes on!) also in the toiletry section too.
- Changes in temperature…an odd one I know but there’s a mix of fridges, freezers and when else do you walk through that sort of thing?
- Trolleys. I can’t always be trusted with them – I can’t concentrate on navigating narrow or busy aisles!
- Shiny, slidey and sometimes unpredictable flooring…
- Navigating the shop. Why aren’t there maps…?
- People. They are unpredictable and I can never judge what direction they are heading in!
I also can find it quite hard to focus, e.g if someone is with me and talking to me it requires a lot of energy to keep switched on and to reply.
I realise that I have listed all the difficulties I could come across in a supermarket situation. However I want to make it clear that I (and everyone else in the world) have good days and bad days and these over-sensitivities do not always grate on me.
It’s weird to try and explain the varying degrees of sensory-ness I experience. To seem fine one minute and a bit odd or overwhelmed the next….however I am definitely able to have more good days as an adult ✨
How do you cope when you go out shopping? Any good coping mechanisms or tips? Feel free to share and comment below 😊