It’s a simple fact: the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the amount of impulse shopping most people have been doing. There are a lot of stats proving it, but you can simply take a look at your own life and the lives of people you know to see if it’s true for you.
Why have we been more compelled to shop for clothes, gadgets, workout equipment, hobby toys, and more?
At the heart of it is uncertainty. We’re feeling so much more uncertainty these days, and we don’t know how to handle it.
The higher the uncertainty we’re feeling about ourselves and the world around us, the more we reach for comforts and things that make us feel a little more in control. And shopping is one of those things.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Feeling in control and feeling comfort are two very lovely things—we all need them sometimes. The more we can let go of judgment, the more open we might be to other possibilities.
What We Hope to Get From ShoppingWhen you go online to buy something you’re craving, are you actually craving that item or something else?
In my experience, we’re craving an experience or feeling we’re hoping this purchase will bring.
- Health, wellness
- Excitement, joy, fun
- A feeling that we’re cool, strong, or sexy
- A feeling of control
Underneath some of these is an even deeper desire. For example, underneath a hope for stylishness is a hope for a sense of worthiness. Underneath the hope for simplicity or control is a hope for a feeling of peace.
Other Strategies to Meet Those NeedsIf what we hope for is an experience of life or a feeling, you might imagine that there are other ways to get this besides buying something. Consider some of the feelings or experiences we commonly pursue.
The good news is that this is all available to us right now in every moment—for free. That means we don’t need to order anything, it has already arrived. It can be a nice relief to the bank account as well.
How would you like to practice with this?