How Do You Distract Yourself When You Want To Shop?

Image: Corbis

See that above?  That is me when I receive any e-mail from J Crew or Bloomingdale’s.

I went through a period (well, many periods) of online shopping, simply because it felt less “real” than toting around loads of bags.  It’s especially tough to resist the call of retail sales now, with the economy in the shitter.  Retailers are desperately and agressively persuing consumers with promotions and sales.

At the moment, I’m doing okay, simply because I don’t give a crap how I look at the office, I have plenty of clothes, and….you know, I’m trying to budget.  However, in the past, I’ve shopped to relieve boredom, stress or to distract myself from something – anything – I really needed to focus on.  That relationship that was drowning?  Sorry, I was busy digging through jeans at the Nordstrom Rack, I really couldn’t be bothered.  In college, I remember skipping class, hopping into my car and driving through the back roads, landing at the Napa outlets.  Looking back, I could have just driven and driven and gotten the need to escape out of my system.  I really didn’t need to shop at the Esprit outlet.

It’s a difficult thing.  They don’t say shopping can be an addiction for nothing, after all.  It can tie in with self-loathing, depression, and any number of psychological issues.  It can, of course, also mean you’re just shallow.  I’ve certainly never tried to dive into why exactly I’ve ended up in debt more than twice or how I might attack the underlying issues.

I do know that awareness is, at the very least, the first place to start.  So, in the spirit of awareness, whenever I feel the urge to shop from here on out, I will drink instead.



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