Friday, November 29, 2013

10 Things to Do Besides Shop

I used to buy things I didn't need.

Sometimes I shopped because I felt great and wanted to celebrate. I found $100 tucked away somewhere. I lost weight. I aced an exam. I was dating a hot new guy. I found something brilliant or beautiful for supercheap.

Mostly I shopped because I didn't feel good. I was lonely, bored, or aimless. I wanted to skip a meal. I was anxious because I had spare time between appointments. I wanted to have some reason for working long hours at a job I hated.

Call me un-American but I'm just going to go ahead and say these are all terrible reasons to buy stuff. Shopping for any reason other than the need to use the item or service you're purchasing is like scratching your head because your foot itches. It's just plain silly and doesn't do any good. I'm grateful that I learned this before I acquired mountains of crippling credit card debt and crap I don't need.

If you use shopping as a way to manage your moods, like I used to, here are ten healing and empowering things you can do besides shop. They all work really well for me.

  1. Get tea with a friend. Allow yourself to be healed by the lovefest that is hanging out with your best girlfriend or even someone amazing and new that you'd like to know better.
  2. Write and snail mail a thank you or just because note to someone you really appreciate. Who has time for handwritten notes these days? You do! That is when you don't waste time shopping!
  3. Show off your snazzy sense of style by curating boards on Pinterest
  4. Eat out at a healthy restaurant. You get a big bang for your buck in terms of entertainment per dollar. You'll get nourishment, atmosphere, inspiration for meals to cook at home, service, and time out.
  5. Go to the library. It's sort of like shopping except it's free and you've gotta return everything so your home won't get overcrowded. 
  6. Exercise. Go for a walk in the park or around town. Work out at the gym or for a run. Dance to your favorite album. Hop on the swings at the playground. You'll get the same adrenaline rush you get from finding the perfect shoes at a great price. You'll also be healthier, which will save you even more money on healthcare in the long run.
  7. Get spiritual. Meditate. Pray. Journal. Paint. Draw. Instead of running away from your feelings, connect with yourself and what you believe in. Tap into the power and wisdom inside of you. This fills emotional voids like nobody's business!
  8. Do something to help someone else. Donate blood at your local blood donation center. Clean out your closets and bring things to Goodwill or other charity thrift store.
  9. Do something to educate yourself or grow your small business. Instead of spending money on things that loose value over time, use your time to invest in yourself and develop skills and knowledge that will help you earn money. Whatever is going on in your life, you've probably got career and/or financial goals you'd love to accomplish. Get clear on what they are, the steps you need to take to make it happen, and work on them everyday. Who has the time, know-how, and money to launch a new business, take an existing business to the next level, or go back to school? You do, when you don't shop!
  10. This is kind of a cheat but you can get your fix by shopping for healthy foods at the farmer's market, a fancy grocery store you don't often go to, or an ethnic market. Just don't get tempted to buy gadgets and other inedibles. Make sure to go home and cook a delicious, nourishing meal using them.
How do you feel about shopping when you don't need anything? What's something you choose to do, or would like to choose to do, instead of shopping?

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Wanna keep nerding out about creative green living? Let's stay connected: Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin' // YouTube
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  2. hi olivia! this is such an important subject to touch upon this time of year. i hate to admit that i have struggled with shopping too much addiction for many a years. for someone such as myself when i hear or see the word yeah i want to indulge. "it's a deal, gotta have it..." i feel so mad at myself now, and 2014 is my year or breaking this cycle. it is hard though, and your alternatives to shopping are so much better. i don't want my kids to be raised thinking "objects" such as toys are better than experiences...besides your blog i have been checking out minimalist beauty and zero waste home to help me with ideas on changing my habits. i would rather live debt free, save for schooling for my kids, even save for amazing trips around the world rather than own tons of beauty products that are actually damaging to my body, clothes i rarely wear anywhere, or gadgets that end up breaking too soon. thanks olivia! off to take a walk and not look at online shopping!

  3. thanks for commenting Mary! it's hard to not buy things we don't need in this culture. I think a lot of us experience this challenge. It's so great that you are committed to change your consumption behavior, especially for your kids. (They're the future!)

    I've gotta check out those two blogs you mentioned.



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