Things I Missed When I Quit Shopping
The novelty of trends and designs
The time between unwrapping a perfect object and its first sign of wear, entropy in action
The marking of occasions and milestones
The feel of soft fabrics running through my fingers
The thrill of completing a task that only a list maker could truly appreciate
The expression of personality
The lights and sounds and subtle scents of new beginnings
The distraction from difficult moments
The not-so-casual conversation with strangers paid to make me feel good about myself
The sense of control in a life that felt out of it
Shopping isn’t just a stereotypically frivolous activity that we shame women for enjoying. It’s a complex web of sensations and neurotransmitters. How we feel can be as important as what we buy. When we try to overcome an unhealthy relationship with spending simply by stopping, we remove a source of fulfillment and a coping mechanism from our lives.
Unsustainable at best, destructive at worst.
You deserve to feel all of those things – pleasure, joy, accomplishment, celebration, originality, excitement, distraction, confidence, novelty, control.
Find them wherever you can, in ways that aren’t accompanied by the guilt and anxiety that overspending can be.
Visit a museum or art gallery and lose yourself in the expression
Create something with your hands
Take a walk outside and touch the space around you
Clean and care for the things you already own
Learn a skill that ignites you and puts you off balance
Volunteer and be a force for change
Strengthen relationships with people who lift you up
Speak to a therapist about your closely-held insecurities
Do something you’ve been afraid to
Carve out time and space for yourself, violently if necessary
If you just like to shop – embrace that too.
In a world that questions our every step, walking confidently in your own direction is its own act of self-love.