This week, after putting off my grocery list for too long, I finally went to several stores. My needs were not to many, but the trip encompassed three different shops and took several hours. Thankfully, I was finishing up school break. However, doing this was oddly relaxing.
Shopping can be a coping skill sometimes. This is hard for me to admit because I struggle with both extremes of this activity. Normally, social anxiety and sensory overload keep me from malls or crowded places like grocery stores. When there, however, my escalated emotions cause me to start pull things off the shelf like crazy. Knowing how to find a balance is difficult. Yet, when I do, shopping can be a fun, invigorating activity that leaves me feeling accomplished.
For example, buying my own food teaches me the importance of caring for myself. It also heightens my sense of independence. Meanwhile, purchasing gifts for others brings great joy as I imagine their interests and attempt to show them love. Clothing shopping, on the other hand, can be triggering. Then again, finding something you look good in can be a huge step forward in recovery.
Thus, there are pros and cons to shopping no matter what you are purchasing. However, it is possible to look at this as more than a chore or addiction. Shopping can be a fun, relaxing, and fulfilling coping skill. Should it be used all of the time to help manage life? No. Can it be used sometimes even just to boost your spirits? Certainly. It is about balance and moderation just like so many other parts of life.
With the holidays approaching, I certainly want to keep this in mind. Shopping and purchasing gifts can be a great source of enjoyment, but one must be careful that it does not become an unhealthy coping skill. Instead, I am going to have fun and try to make others happy while remembering money management and caring for my own needs.
- again/retail therapy by Hopelessly lost in thought
- The Magical Land of Ald! by the dubs life
- How choosing clothes taught me who I am by The Affranchising Woman