How to Stay Peaceful when Mall Shopping

Mall shopping is not for everyone - malls are big, loud, filled with a lot of people, full of flashing lights, bright colors and harsh surfaces that reflect brilliantly. These things can make a person tired, irritable and grouchy fairly quickly. If you're visiting with a more energetic friend or relative, and you want to keep up with them, or you just have to get through a lot of shopping, one answer can be to find the more peaceful parts of the mall where you can rejuvenate.


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    Plan your mall visit ahead. If you can access a map online, you will be able to find the shops that interest you, the bathroom facilities, eating areas and suitable parking. This should help to relieve some of the stress of the visit; planning ahead is a good for dispelling some of the anxiety that you might be feeling. Also, if you don't enjoy parking in mall car parks, have a friend or family member drop you off and collect you so that you can avoid this additional anxiety, or visit when there won't be so many cars parked.
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    Look for places that can provide some respite in your visit. Some examples of ways to find "peace" in the mall include:
    • Finding a good cafe to stop and have a cup of tea or coffee in
    • Visiting the bathroom for a break from the noise, to have a freshen up
    • Find a garden store with plants. Plants break up noise and garden stores are often less brightly lit and more open to outdoor light
    • Visit the foyer of a cinema. If the shopping center has a cinema, these often have very large and darkened foyer areas where you can sit on soft seats and chill out for a bit. Have a drink while you're resting!
    • Have a rest near large potted plants. These will give you a little privacy and cut off the glare of the lights and throngs of passers-by.
    • Post offices, bookstores and bookstore cafes are often wonderfully quiet compared to other places in a mall.
    • Have a massage! Some malls offer these services; have one to unwind!
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    Look for ways to reduce the stress of a mall visit while you are there. Perhaps you can block out some of the noise with an MP3 player; or wear sunglasses if the lights are too bright. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing so that you don't have to worry about slipping, tripping or just feeling too "constricted". Have your packages stored somewhere so that you don't have to carry too much around with you. It pays to consider all of the ways that you can reduce the impact of the noise, crowds and bright lights on your frazzled nerves.
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    Try to visit when you feel at your best and on a full stomach, rather than when you feel tired and hungry. If you feel tired and hungry before you have even started, then you will have a very hard time of it and will be driven by the need to eat and rest rather than feeling energetic.
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    Shop mindfully. Don't wander aimlessly and without purpose. Instead, visit with a list and a time deadline so that you can get in and get out doing just what is required and no more. It can also help if you have phoned places in advance (or looked online) to check that stock is available.


  • Try to avoid taking small children with you; this will simply magnify your distress in a mall when they start playing up or running off from you.
  • Use the information center to help you plan your visit; if you can't find something, they can help quickly.
  • If you don't like mall food, pack your own and just buy a drink. There is always seating somewhere that you can sit down and eat a homemade lunch without breaching the "only food bought here" rule.
  • It might be easier to make more shorter visits than an infrequent long one that totally wears you out.
  • Malls are much quieter early mornings and nights; try to go at these times.


  • Don't overdo a mall trip; malls are larger than it might seem at first and can wear you out, especially with heavy packages, kids in tow and worries about spending. Take it easy, stay within budget, and prefer leaving for home rather than stressing out over money, children's behavior and your tiredness. You can always come back later.

Things You'll Need

  • Map of mall online
  • Knowledge of quiet spots
  • Your own lunch if you can't get food you like at the mall
  • Comfortable clothes, shoes
  • Good carrying bag that doesn't drag your back and neck down
  • iPod and sunglasses if you feel these will help
  • Promise to yourself to leave early if it all feels too much

Article Info

Categories: Shopping | Stress Anxiety and Crisis Management