The urge to splurge is a real human struggle - whether our bank accounts are tight or plenty. In our society, we're naturally pushed towards consumerism. Retail therapy is always there waiting for us on our most stressful days. We swap our money for things to relieve stress, knowing that it doesn't solve the issue.
Getting caught in the cycle of consumerism has become a way of life. We are human. We consume. Even with serious work and dedication, we're not going to beat consumerism. We can learn to awaken our intention, help restore balance, and become more mindful human beings.
Intentional consumerism is a choice and practice. It takes dedication and hard work as you go against the flow of society. It starts with getting to know yourself - your values and your goals. Then it leads to your practise forming habits. One day you'll realize that it's not as much work as it once was and you'll be like "damn, I'm intentional af." ;)
There's no one-straight-way to being an intentional consumer. Everyone's path is different and beautiful, and we love that about human processes. Here are some habits that we've noticed with intentional consumerism. These can also double as goals to get you started on your way.
You carefully consider your purchases. What used to be an immediate buy is now sitting in your cart as you mull it over. Every person has their own set of reasons to mull over extra purchases. A good question to ask yourself is: Is this a need? Or am I loving the dopamine rush of buying new things? It's okay - and good - to reward yourself every once and a while. Only you can make your own terms. This is a practice. Your practice.
You're confident and comfortable in your own style. A big step of being an intentional consumer is learning to be content with what you already have. As time passes, you'll notice that you have more love for the clothes in your closet and don't feel the need to go buy the latest style just because. In the same space, you'll notice that this makes you feel good and confident and comfortable. Because this is deeper than budgeting. It's a self-discovery journey.
You look for quality over quantity. When you're intentional about your purchases, you want what you buy to last. Cheap clothes aren't as attractive anymore. Good quality that goes the distance with you is worth it.
You're more aware of where your money is going. You might even keep track of everything you buy. This habit is great for budgeting and keeps you aware of your spending. When you take time to sort through your purchases and categorize them, you start to notice other habits about yourself.
You know yourself - you know the person that you are in the moment. You're learning the difference between your needs and wants. You know your boundaries and you're sticking to them. You know that everything is a process and growth takes time. It's a good place to find ourselves when our chaotic, consumer society is most apparent.
The more time we take to observe ourselves in the space that we're in, the more conscious we become. As with any journey and practice, it's important to treat yourself gently and love yourself during the process. Your personal growth is always worth celebrating.
Jade is a writer, potter, and gardener living in a sleepy town in Northern Ontario. They love growing food, creating functional stoneware, and hermiting with a book as much as possible.