Grappling with online shopping addiction? Say, “No more!”
Do your eyes twinkle every time you see the word 'Sale' flashing on your screen? Do your hearts race each time you add to cart or when the deliveryman drops off your parcel? Do you console yourself after every transaction notification that the product will be worth dwindling your bank balance? If yes, then you could be suffering from serious issues, which consequently prevents you from controlling your online shopping. Although compulsive shopping is not recognised as a specific disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, psychologists say that this disorder is significantly linked to anxiety, depression, substance use and bipolar disorders.
During a time of pandemic, when our mental health is considerably vulnerable, shoppers heavily depend on online platforms for comfort. Now, there is nothing to freak out about. For starters, you can bring the following changes in your habits to curb your online shopping.
Pandemic has negatively impacted all of our lives in some way or the other. The disruption and distress of quarantine resulted in people seeking solace in the shine of bags and shoes appearing on their screens. They tend to think of it as a reward for dealing with the difficult times. To cope with such issues, you can find other hobbies to spend your time meaningfully. During quarantine, we have seen many people reviving their hobbies which somehow faded in the hurry-scurry of their busy lives.
Some even developed new hobbies. So, whenever you feel the urge to shop to escape from loneliness or boredom, channel out your negative feelings through hobbies. You can just watch a movie while having your favourite snack, if that is what makes you happy.
Limiting within the list
While shopping, we tend to buy a lot of unnecessary stuff which in the moment seems useful but later on will be lying somewhere in the house completely forgotten.
Do not just buy anything just because it looks fancy. Rather, prepare a list before you shop and challenge yourself not to divert from the list. If you find it too hard sticking to the list, you can always appoint someone trustworthy in charge of your shopping.
Another drawback of pandemic has been the elicitation of panic buying among people. In such cases, people buy essential goods like groceries, medicines, and toiletries in bulk quantities fearing a lockdown and end up causing shortages in the market.
It is justifiable to stock up before a lockdown, but remember there needs to be a limit to that as well.
Cash not cards
When you are paying with a card, you do not usually realise how much you are spending, especially if you are using a credit card, the magnitude of the amount only hits you when it is time to pay the bill. Therefore, it is better to pay in cash, because when you visualise your spending, it helps you become more aware of your expenditures.
Track to not go broke
Maintaining a record book for your monthly expenses is a smart way to manage your finances. Writing down where and how much, lets you know about any needless spending and also challenge you to be thrifty. If this method seems archaic to you, there are several handy expense tracker apps nowadays like, Mint or Goodbudget, which allow users to digitally allocate a budget and send them notifications if the budget exceeds. Mint also has the additional feature of syncing to your bank accounts to track your income, purchase and savings.
Say bye-bye to toxic temptations
It is hard to resist yourself when you keep receiving notifications about discounts or new collections. Anyone who has seen the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, will know how the shopaholic character there has a hard time not giving in, when the mannequins at the store lure her to shop to her heart's content.
These constant notifications from online stores can be equally tempting. Once you give in, the flashy products will pull you into an unending whirlpool making you brim with guilt later on. Hence, to avoid such risks, unsubscribe from these online stores and free yourself from the toxic relationships.
Heal without hesitation
If these methods are not enough to keep your online shopping in check, then you can seek professional mental help. Self-help groups are quite promising as well. Controlling your online shopping might seem like a hellish job to do at first, but once you make peace with not wanting more than you need, you will feel liberated. Plus, your savings account will prosper like never before!