Over-shopping and COVID-19: Part 3 The Secret Weapon

In part 2 of this blog series I promised you a secret weapon to stop over-shopping.

Much of the behaviour around over-shopping (or other compulsive behaviours such as over-eating) are driven by the unconscious mind. A ‘computer programme’ that runs in the background without any conscious input from you. Your brain thinks it is being really helpful, it can do all this stuff without having to bother you or distract you from what you are doing, and it many ways that is great – we don’t need to make a decision to breathe, or to walk, our bodies do this because the unconscious is in the driving seat.

Over-shopping is a different matter – the unconscious is running with faulty programming which we created, and now it takes it as read, that is what we need…

If you haven’t yet worked it out, YOU are the secret weapon. Or at least your conscious mind is the secret weapon in the fight against over-spending.

Mindfulness is a hot topic right now, and has many benefits for our mental and physical wellbeing.

So my first suggestion is to start noticing as soon as you feel the urge to shop. Or if you are shopping for essentials, the urge to buy something which is not on the list and is not essential.

What is the feeling? How can you describe it? Where are you feeling it? What triggered the feeling?

Perhaps you are bored – so just sit with whatever the feeling is for a while, explore the options you have in the moment. What could you do instead, as a distraction. You might be feeling lonely or sad – can you call a friend, write yourself a letter, try out a new recipe in the kitchen.. If you are already in a shop, you can recommit to your original list!

In the moment distraction will help – but the deeper work of exploring the feelings surrounding the urge to shop is needed. Keeping a diary or journal as you explore the bigger picture can be hugely helpful.

Having a support network will also help – if you can find a support buddy amongst your friends or family that is ideal. Accountability can be a huge key to your success.

The following resources are also recommended:

Book - To Buy or Not to Buy – Dr April Lane Benson (at

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