Online shopping: That tricky but reliable sense of satisfaction. During these precarious times, your stress may be overflowing with few ways to alleviate it. You may be prone to wanting the relief of a monetary transaction. Here are a couple of ways to keep your pandemic purchases in perspective. 1. Shop for what you need. If that purchase isn't necessary to complete your current daily tasks, it’s probably best to forego it. The thing you think you need is a temporary dopamine hit that makes you feel good momentarily. If you grow to rely on this method of dissipating your distress, you become more reliant on that little dopamine hit whenever you’re stressed. If you have a shopping itch, aim for something that actually needs replacing, like the cookie sheets you’ve been meaning to change out or the new laundry detergent you want to try. 2. Shop for what you want. The reality is, you’re going to shop for goodies you want and not always items that you need. If you find yourself in need of an indulgence now and again, set aside a small portion of your paycheck for pandemic purchases. During this time, it’s important to have a little bit of flexibility and compassion for yourself and if you budget it in, you may be less likely to overspend. So, within reason, go ahead and buy those decorative wall tapestries that are finally 30% off. They’ll look great in your bedroom!
Daphne Weaver, LMHC, received her master's degree in clinical mental health counseling with a specialization in trauma studies from Lesley University. She spent the past several years in an array of mental health settings including community mental health, middle schools and high schools, universities, and nonprofit. She has worked with a range of clients (from age five to age eighty) with a variety of needs, including depression, borderline personality disorder, dissociative identity, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and many other disorders.
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