Retail therapy–the act of buying yourself something to boost your mood–is pretty common in our society. Stressed out? Get a new outfit. You’ll feel great! Crumby day? Treat yourself.
Does compulsive spending really help relieve stress? Perhaps for a while, but only for as long as that “new” feeling is hanging around. It eventually washes away (typically after a couple of washes 😉). And then you’re back looking for something new to help alleviate the aftermath of another tough day.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself. However, it can be a trap for a lot of us. The struggle is real, especially when it’s so easy to hit that add-to-cart button and autofill has remembered your credit card number. We’ve all been there once or twice. Some of us many times over. So here are a few tips for the next time you feel ready for some retail therapy.
Practise gratitude—Easier said than done. Taking stock of what you have—of what’s around you that brings you joy—might bring you the warm fuzzy feeling you’re hoping the new fuzzy sweater will bring you. Practising gratitude in moments you feel like there’s nothing to be grateful for trains your brain to look up. Counting your blessings goes a long way.
Journal—Sometimes you just need to work out what’s going on in your brain. The internal struggle can send you on a spiral and the next thing you know it’s been 5 hours of Netflix and you still have no chill. Put on some cozy tunes, make a cup of tea, and give yourself space to process.
Treat someone else—Taking the attention off of your crumby day and reaching out to someone else can help alleviate self-indulgence. Hit up your favourite coffee shop, grab a couple lattes, and talk about good things.
Save the money!—Instead of just treating yourself, invest in yourself. The next time you get the urge to buy something new, save that money for something you’ve been meaning to do. Maybe it’s a yoga class, a wine and art night, backpacking across Europe, or going back to school for what you’ve always wanted to learn about. Investing in yourself is worth it. The change isn’t immediate, but as you grow, you learn more about yourself—nothing beats that feeling of reaching the next level of you.
Still, just want to buy some new clothes? Go for quality over quantity. Know who you’re buying from and what they stand for. Then rock that new outfit and spread the ethical love. Sustainable, ethical fashion puts money back into the hands of the makers and contributes toward a brighter future for our planet.
We’d love to hear from you! What are some ways you combat consumerism?
Written By Jade Paxton for FRANC