I don’t want much. I need even less. Even so, sometimes I feel like shopping.
Yes! Even after more than a decade of decluttering, becoming debt-free and simplifying my life, I feel like shopping.
Recently, when it was time to switch over my Project 333 wardrobe, I thought about shopping, about adding something new to my wardrobe. Then I did what I always do now before clicking “add to cart,” I waited.
I waited because it wasn’t an urgent need. I waited because I knew what I really wanted was some relief and I couldn’t buy that in the form of a sweater. The truth is, I was bored, anxious and uncertain. I wanted those feelings to go away with the click of a button. Then, I remembered all the times I tried to shop my way out of pain and all the times it never worked and I resisted.
Buying something new to feel a certain way is usually disappointing which results in more pain. Cue vicious circle.
It’s a boring, anxious, uncertain time for many of us but we can’t shop, drink, or escape our way out of it. Here are 8 ways to resist shopping and perhaps a few things that will make us all feel better along the way.
When You Feel Like Shopping: 8 Ways to Resist
This is the best first step. Add to cart if you must and then pause. Wait for a week, then 10 days and maybe even a month. If you are still ok without it, move on.
There are a lot of things we can’t spend money on right now so it may be easy to justify a small purchase, especially if that small purchase is bright and sparkly or soft and comforty but that feeling of bright, sparkly, soft and comforty will pass faster than we hope. Giving to someone else who is lacking comfort and basic needs lasts so much longer. Give to Together Rising’s Covid-19 Response or follow Simone Gordon on Instagram and give comfort away. It will comfort you too.
We are all socially distancing pros by now so try distancing yourself from the places you like to shop. Unsubscribe from emails that tempt you, people and businesses in your social feeds that make it hard to resist something new and distance from other online and IRL shopping temptations.
When you want to shop for something you don’t really need, write about it. What do you really want? Is it that thing in the cart or is it something more? Are you craving a feeling or escaping one? What can you do to feel the way you want to feel? Writing or recording your pre-shopping thoughts will help you understand yourself better and what motivates you to spend and shop. While you are expressing yourself for better understanding, trade your judgement for compassion.
Try a shopping ban. Write your own rules by creating a framework. Include the length of time and the items that are off limits. Invite friends and have fun.
Before you buy something new, get rid of stuff you don’t use or love. Take a look at the stuff you thought would make you happy, successful and satisfied. A lot of this stuff might be hiding in closets, garages or bags and boxes. Let it go and realize you are enough without it.
As the saying goes, it’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. Turn your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have. Keep a gratitude journal or make gratitude part of your morning practice by silently acknowledging a few things in your life that you are grateful for.
Take a walk, read a book, stretch out, enjoy a cup of tea or do something else before you take the next step. Creating space between add to cart and buy now allows you to fill your life with what you really want. And if all else fails, remember … you can return that.
Maybe shopping isn’t your thing, but these 8 things will apply to other ways we try to leave ourselves. If you are bored, anxious and uncertain, you are not alone. Once we decide to feel our feelings instead of fixing them, we finally see that this too shall pass.