6 months without shopping?
Shopping has been creeping up on me again over the last few months. It tends to do that. I’ve certainly been buying more items than I had planned for. I’ve almost certainly spent more on them than intended. I am still getting way too much pleasure out of shopping, and I am still struggling to find any other activities that provide anywhere near as much stimulation as shopping does.
I feel like I’m non the wiser and no further than last year, when I went on a roughly two month shopping hiatus to pull the emergency breaks. Unlike what other overshoppers describe, I didn’t go on a crazy binge after the two months had ended. For a while, it really felt like I had broken the neck of a bad habit, and for about six months after, I was shopping moderately and very selectively. The shopping started to increase again slowly, like weight creeping back up after a lengthy diet. It’s disappointing, but in many ways it feels like I’m right back to the start. I think the reason why it didn’t have a lasting effect was that I didn’t manage to replace shopping – the no 1 default enjoyable activity and at points my only “hobby” – with something else equally enjoyable. I didn’t manage to find new hobbies, friends or ways of occupying myself. While shopping probably fulfils many functions in my life (and I would like to take some time to explore them here in the nearby future), I feel that a lack of stimulation and other interests is a big one and also possibly the hardest to address. As I am writing this I feel a little overwhelmed because part of me isn’t sure that I will ever be able to change this, but I don’t have to figure it all out today. Every path begins with one small step, so mine begins here.
I’ve been considering a six month stint without shopping in the hope that this might make an impact on my relationship with shopping overall and help me pick up some healthier habits along the way. I am saying this very cautiously as I think this would be beyond challenging for me. Also the goal isn’t and will never be to never shop again or avoid shopping entirely. After all I love clothes, styling and looking put together. This isn’t something that I am willing to change about my personality as I would be setting myself up for guaranteed failure by removing the one thing I’m really “into” from my life with no strategy to replace it. The goal has to be to break the neck of a very unhealthy habit which uses shopping in an attempt to fill a void in my life that cannot realistically be filled with a new top. I would also love to get to the point where I don’t feel compelled to buy “everything” I like and instead be very mindful and picky about what I let into my life. Clothes have become too much like junk food for me recently and they never taste good for long anymore.
So is six months without shopping possible for someone like me who gets giddy with excitement when a new branch of Zara opens nearby? I’m not sure, but the thought fills me with massive anxiety. Is shopping as little as possible for six months possible for someone like me? I think so. It will be hard, but I feel much more positive about being able to achieve this. So this is what I am going to try and do. As little as possible is not meant to be a get out clause so that I can keep on shopping like a woman possessed and buy whatever I want. Shopping every day or various times a week (even without buying) does also not qualify as “as little as possible”. I am thinking about imposing a realistic but tight item limit but I will need to mull that one over for a while in order to come up with a figure that is both high enough to be achievable and low enough to be a challenge. If I decide on this, I will let you all know here. I will also share any purchases here to hold myself somewhat accountable to my commitment of shopping significantly less. Finally, I would like to use this page to document my journey from here on in and I’d be very happy to welcome anyone here who would like to read along. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you wish and I will try and respond.