Things I Missed When I Quit Shopping

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.

3 thoughts on “Things I Missed When I Quit Shopping”

  • I love your ideas for non-shopping fixes. Between online shopping and trying to cut down on spending overall, I am rarely in stores anymore. But I do find myself craving some of the satisfaction you mentioned above that can be satisfied, at least temporarily, by shopping. Thank you for the bit of inspiration today 🙂

  • Lovely post, Veronika! I’m trying to get the shopping urge out of my system, but you’re so right that it’s a complex activity that’s more than just exchanging money for a thing. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to one of the art museums around here. I think I need to change that soon since it’s one of my favorite things to do 🙂

  • I recently have cut down on coffee runs, and I feel like a part of my identity is being hacked away. It’s so silly, but stopping at the cafe and chatting with the baristas, meeting friends for coffee, and grabbing coffee with my husband were such huge parts of my life. It’s such simple concept on paper: “quit shopping” or “quit buying coffee” but man, it is so hard to implement!

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