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Over-shopping and COVID-19: Part 1

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

We are living in strange and unprecedented times. Our emotions are being pushed and pulled in all directions, in ways we could not have imagined just a few short months ago.


Lockdown has impacted everyone in different ways, but one common theme is the topic of money. Millions have been negatively impacted – whether because they have had to temporarily suspend their business, or they have been furloughed by an employer. Pension incomes have taken a hit due to losses on the stock markets. Cancelled events and holidays have caused a slew of refunds…


But what about those who are self inflicting their own money misery?


I’m talking about over-shopping – something we can do anywhere, anytime. Got an internet connection and a card to pay with - you are all set.


This is a wonderful thing, if you are a vulnerable person needing essential grocery deliveries, or to make payment for essential services. But what about those who are using shopping as a way to meet an emotional need in these tough times?


We are essentially captive in our homes, and have more time available to surf the internet. Email in-boxes are bombarded with retailers offering tempting big discounts to sell clothing stock which will soon be out of season and fashion; fast food delivery chains tapping into our hunger; appeals to ‘treat ourselves’.


Here are some of the common reasons for over-shopping – do any resonate with you?


· To feel better about yourself

· To feel more secure

· To feel in control

· To avoid dealing with something important

· To show love

· To soothe yourself

· To project an image of wealth or power

· As a response to stress or trauma

· As a substitute for other addictions – though seen as a more ‘acceptable’ addiction than say gambling, drinking, or drugs – over-shopping is in many ways more taboo and so more likely to go unaddressed

All are emotional needs. If you can uncover your reasons, that is a significant step to stopping over-shopping.


In Part 2 of this blog post I will talk about the realities of overshopping (Monday 1 June 2020)


Part 3 will look at how you can begin to overcome the problem of overshopping (Monday 8 June 2020) so please look out for them.

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