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How quarantine send me into shopping overdrive

    2020 was a lot of things, but certainly not normal. With everything that was going on last fall, I felt the need to compensate and try to find relief into all the wrong places. After looking at my expense books from 4 months ago, I saw just how bad things got and I had times when I spent 1000 euro on impulse buying in a single week. 


    Back in October, when I returned from my trip to Croatia, it felt as if everything was going in the wrong direction. We were in lock-down again, cold was settling in and all the outdoor places were shutting down, the day was getting smaller, my SO had issues with returning to a former employer just because he needed the job and my whole universe got shrunk to the size of my apartment. 


    So I turned to the thing that always gave me pleasure, shopping, from luxury bags that never left the bag they came in, to clothes that still have their tags on. All of those got delivered to me day after day. I was so bad that at the end of November my bank account was almost empty and my apartment filled with unnecessary items that only made me feel guilty about buying them.


    The only pleasure was when I would click the place order and pay, after that guilt appeared and when I would finally have the items delivered, sadness for not being able to use any of them. In the end, the same things that I supposedly wanted to bad, was not bringing me joy but the opposite. 


    Quarantine changed our behaviors and for many, times of uncertainty are making us try to find some sort of joy, usually in the wrong place. Instead of focusing on what could make us feel a little better, like seeing (over Skype/zoom) a therapist, or having a fancy dinner delivery, or going to a hotel on the weekend, we go in a direction that will only make us feel happy for a split second. Just like gambling, we are drawn to the immediate gratification of online purchasing. 


    For me, when times get tough I return to the one thing that made me feel something, made me feel safe… buying things. I always loved to dress up when I felt blue, so I invested in more clothes, bags, shoes etc. Even if I had plenty of, many with the tags still on, I would still want to get more. From social media recommendation, to subscription, there is a lot of temptation all around me and with the increase of the time I spent in front of the laptop, I was even more susceptible to commercials. 


    It took me a couple of months to readjust and another couple of months to realize in what state I was back then. I believe in the month where I spent 2000 euro on reckless shopping, I found some explanation for my behavior, now I see how irresponsible it was. I focused on the immediate shopping hype instead of my long term objectives. 


    Today I am making weekly budgets and I am doing my best to stick to them. For shopping I am trying to only “reward” myself once a month with something that I want very much and only if I am within the monthly budget, if not I try to save or pick up additional work. I am still struggling and I know that while I am on lock-down I will have those moments when the only solution to my problems is another thing advertised online. 

    • Martina F Martina F :

      I had the same problem in the first period of quarantine.. I felt bored and get  a lot of shopping! Anyway the best things is to recognize the problem and find a solution!     

      1 year ago 
      • Iuliana R Iuliana R :

        Indeed, we need to identify the root issue and then work on a solution, we all felt stresed and bored during this time <3

        1 year ago 
    • Silvia C Silvia C :

      I think these weird times have tested us all in different ways, activating our individual coping mechanisms. The important part is that we show ourselves patience, and do our best to do better every day- and it sounds to me like you're doing exactly that!  

      1 year ago 
      • Iuliana R Iuliana R :

        Totally agree, hopefully better times are coming and we will no longer have to be in quarantine or locked inside. <3 :-*

        1 year ago 
    • Rosalia T Rosalia T :

      Same here! Fell into the trap of overspending out of boredom and because I knew that when my package arrived it I knew I would experience the joy of unboxing haha. Once I realized, even though it took a while, I was able to cut down and redirect my energy towards other things.

      1 year ago 
      • Iuliana R Iuliana R :

        I am so happy to hear that you were able to identify and work on the overspending. Hopefully we will be able to return to our "normal" lives and we no longer feel drawn to this behavior. <3 :-*

        1 year ago 
    • Tiara M Tiara M :

      I completely feel this. I found myself trying to make my quarantine life better by giving into my impulses and doing things that would only make me happy temporarily! A vicious cycle to get into but the first step to overcoming the problem is recognizing it.


      1 year ago 
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