Times are hard. Going on a relaxed city stroll with your best friend and rummage through the shops? Not possible. Well, it is possible again but we're still far from 'relaxed'.
Face masks and social distancing might be reasonable, but rather hindering for the shopping experience. That is why I relocated my shopping tours to the Internet. A non-representative survey within my circle of acquaintances has shown: I am not alone in this.
But the shopping location is not the only thing that changed thanks to COVID-19. Also the frequency with which the parcel carrier rang my door bell increased rapidly in the meantime.
As for spending money, the first two weeks of the lockdown I was in a state of shock. But then the huge boredom began. Considering cancelled parties, vacations, bar nights and cultural events, everything inside me craved mental stimulation which I then got from shopping instead. Good for the economy, bad for my account balance and very questionable for my psyche.
How I escaped it? With mindfulness and these 5 questions that everybody can apply – no matter if you prefer shopping online or offline. Let’s go!
1. How am I feeling?
This small talk evergreen is also they key question when it comes to shopping. Just as you should never go to the supermarket hungry, shopping when experiencing intense feelings is an absolute taboo. Are you really sad? Rather talk to a friend. You could hug the whole world? Release your energy by dancing or going for a run. You are feeling okay and clear-minded? Best prospects, go for it!
2. What am I yearning for?
Important principle: We never, really never want the product itself. Not the stylish lamp, not the sexy jeans and not even the functional backpack for the office. What we want instead (and hope to achieve through the things we buy) is a certain feeling. In my case it was variety and the feeling to be able to do something actively rooting in the monotony and powerlessness that these crisis evoked in me. What is it for you? What are you currently yearning for?
3. How can I satisfy this need in a different way?
If you have already found it out you can certainly go for the good bargain and hopefully experience the positive effect. Or maybe you ask yourself whether this is the best, most effective and promising way to achieve your goal. There are surely still other ways to feel secure, desirable, independent, beautiful and free. You only have to look for it.
After having understood that, I started to consciously take care of variety and activity. I started creative projects, tried out new recipes and organized small events for me and my family for which I dressed up. This did not entirely erase my desire to go shopping but it certainly relaxed it.
4. Can I borrow, swap or make it myself?
Sometimes an addition to the wardrobe or household is still the best solution. On behalf of the environment I then ask myself whether I could get this product elsewhere as brand-new is rarely necessary.By the way: Crafting, researching and swapping brings much fun and interpersonal vibes.
5. Who would I specifically like to support?
Now you are really close to what you really want to buy. If you are convinced of a purchase at this point you only have to clarify a last question: Where do you want to buy? For the retailer – regardless of small or big – your money makes a difference. (By the way: Thanks to everyone who is currently supporting FLSK! You are awesome!)
During the corona crisis it can certainly be a good deed to shop at local businesses. Take a conscious choice in accordance with what is important to you. This way you can finally be twice as glad about your new purchase.
Conclusion: I have not entirely stopped shopping. And this was not my goal as I am not a minimalist. Now and then I like to buy myself a small kick and real joy. When I want it, when I consciously decide to. But not when I am controlled by my needs. Cheers to your freedom!