When you pause and think about it, there are few concepts more sick in their construction than the ubiquitous “retail therapy” (despite it being everyone’s favorite non-joke joke). Surely such an idea could only exist in as materially based a society as ours.
Shopping out of necessity is great thing; it’s wonderful to be able to buy the things you need to live your best life. But shopping as a means of emotional soothing? That can turn into a crackerjack of a Live Simply nightmare faster than you can say “cash or check” or “buried in clutter.” It does turn into exactly that for many people–that’s a fact to which I can personally attest.
So, what else might a person do when the stress levels rise and the itch to hit the mall bricks rears its ugly shopping bag? Here are 10 alternatives to retail therapy.
1. Call anyone you love who has a tendency to spread good energy and have a long chat about what’s bothering you or about any single other thing.
2. Exercise; shopping gives you a high. You know what else does? Moving your body. Go for a walk, a run, do one hundred jumping jacks or a yoga class–whatever movement you prefer, do it.
3. Go outside.
4. Attend to a task that’s been loitering on your to-do list and marvel at how your own productivity makes you instantly feel like the queen of your world, once again.
5. Do a kind deed for anyone besides yourself, because nothing makes us feel as fulfilled as giving to others.
6. Give yourself a new experience at home; make a new outfit combination from some forgotten pieces; cook up a new recipe.
7. Actual therapy. Like, with a therapist.
8. I know it’s the item on the list that no one ever actually does, but there is powerful relief and insight that comes with writing down your thoughts. So do that. Just this once. Fill up a whole page with all your anger, frustration, and anxiety. Then have some kind of a ceremony in which you destroy the paper and with it, the emotions they contain. Rip it into shreds, put it through your shredder, or throw it on your fire.
9. Directly counteract the impulse to acquire by decluttering any single area of your space. Feel the relief in letting go, rather than through collecting.
10. Indulge yourself in what feels like an act of self-love that is experience, rather than materially, based.
What would you add to this list?