Happy Friday Eve! I can't believe that no-buy month is halfway over. It's actually been much easier than I thought, and it's been great being able to focus on other things like my blog, Etsy shop, and the Brunch Club. Having two weekends in a row jam-packed with things to do has helped, too. This weekend, I plan on having a girls' night with Chelc and Whit, going out to celebrate my sister's college graduation, and spending time with my family. So far I've rediscovered some old beauty favorites and dusted off clothes I had forgotten about in the back of my closet. I've also had time to reflect on the past year of my life, and it really got me thinking. I normally wouldn't write such a deep post, but when I found this quote, it just hit me.
Retail therapy. The thing I've been avoiding this month. My go-to for when I have a rough day at work, when I had to deal with my life being turned upside down. Last year, I went through possibly the worst heartbreak I have ever experienced, and I really lost sight of myself for a while. I became mildly depressed and lost any desire for social interaction with friends. I turned to shopping to give myself a high and feel better, if only for the moment. I'd come home with pretty shopping bags full of new things, but once I settled back onto the couch, I still felt alone.
Now I don't want to go into too many details, because I am stronger now than I ever have been, but seeing this quote made me realize that I don't have to depend on retail therapy anymore. Sure, it's perfectly fine to treat yourself to a new bag or new shoes every now and then, but it is so much more rewarding when you do treat yourself if you know that you don't have to
on shopping for a high. If I go shopping, I want it to be for a positive reason, like my recent promotion at work, rather than trying to compensate for something that is making me feel sad. Going through no-buy month has really opened my eyes to this.
With my new found outlook on shopping, I've been able to channel inspiration and positivity from other, more meaningful things happening in my life. I had been neglecting my Etsy shop for a while, partially from lack of interest and also because I just got so busy at work. But then, a few weeks ago I received my first review (and five stars at that), and that really lit a fire under me. Reading my customer's kind words has motivated me again to create new pieces, and this craft time has become my new retail therapy.
Also, Chelcey, Whitney and I have been having regular meetings for The Brunch Club, and it is amazing how far we have come with our ideas. I can't even believe that just a couple months ago, this was just a thought being tossed around in Chelcey's kitchen, and now things are really coming together. I couldn't be more excited!
The moral of my story is, you don't need shopping or retail therapy or whatever your crutch is to get you through the rough times. Rather than leaning on material things to make you feel better in the short term, turn to your friends, help someone else going through a difficult time, or find a creative outlet like I did. It is so much more rewarding for me now to ship out an order to someone on the other side of the country instead of running to the mall to buy the latest and greatest bag, and that's something I never thought I would say.
What are some of your coping mechanisms through tough times? Have you tried something new instead? I encourage you to share your thoughts below - after all, writing is yet another form of therapy.