Feeling Guilty about Online Shopping? You Need to Read This...

They say that shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist, in most cases that's true. Even research has shown that a little "retail therapy" can go a long way to curing the blues. However, shopping can get way out of hand, especially when it's used as a means of coping with stress and deep-seated loneliness. It turns out that loneliness, like many of us are experiencing during the long COVID-19 lockdown, can make us very materialistic. Isolation can cause anxiety which can quickly turn to lethargy and depression, which makes us less inclined to maintain close relationships with family and friends. As it happens, our innate need for immediate gratification kicks in and drives us to seek pleasure in any form to make us feel better, which for many people, results in online shopping.
Online shopping may deliver the quick thrill we are looking for, but over time it actually compounds feelings of loneliness, and eventually, the guilt kicks in. Retail therapy is a quick fix to help us to feel better, but many are experiencing shame when mindlessly adding 'must-haves' to their shopping cart, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Many people feel guilty about online shopping, especially considering that people are dying, we are in a recession and so many people have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay their bills. The emotional seesaw with the thrill of treating yourself to something that will temporarily lift your mood on one side, and remorse over the lack of self-control on the other, is something that many of us recognise. So what's the answer?
It's simple! What if we were to shop with a conscience? What if we were to change our shopping habits and make a conscious decision to only shop with companies who pay it forward? If we purchase from companies who donate to charity and buy from brands that don't test on animals or use foreign sweatshops, it makes sense that our sense of gratification will be longer lived and our shame eliminated. People need their jobs, and we all need to do our bit to keep the economy going, we just need to be smart about our shopping habits. If we shop with a conscience and a purpose, we can shop as much as our bank account allows us to because we will be making a difference and feeling good in the process. Instead of feeling empty and guilty, it turns out that shopping done the right way can actually deliver the sense of purpose we are all looking for. So if you can, buy products with conscience and put a smile on your dial and shame in the trash.