I’m not quite sure what it is about shopping that makes me feel happy, but it really does. That is, until I get home and see how much stuff I already have and realize how much money I’ve spent.
This past year I’ve worked really hard on curbing my spending and it’s really helped to find other ways to get that high shopping gives me.
In the first part of 2014, it was training for a half-marathon and being in a new relationship. Over the summer, after my half-marathon dream was sidelined by an injury, it was exploring Philadelphia with my boyfriend and going for long bike rides. The fall brought road trips and finally deciding to go back to school to pursue my dream of being a teacher. The winter was hard. Shopping for the holidays had me in and out of stores and the shopping bug was making tiny little bites. That, combined with wanting an impressive winter capsule, made resisting really hard but by that point in my journey my defenses were pretty strong and I was finding that shopping wasn’t very fulfilling for me anymore. I’d like to say I steered clear of all shopping, but that’s just not the case. I gave in, but in a moderate amount that made sense for my budget.
I had a crazy beginning to my New Year and, a few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I broke up. What’s the first thing I did? Schedule a shopping date with my best friend. Second thing? Head to DSW and buy these cute little sneakers. Needed? Eh. Wanted? Ohhhh yeah.
Fortunately, I quickly remembered that not only is buying things not going to make me happy in the long run, it’s going to make my wallet even more unhappy. I decided that I’m not going to let this break up or anything else control my happiness. Here’s what I’m doing instead
- I rejoined the gym near my work. The one that I pay a ridiculous amount for but I love it and I actually go so it’s worth it. I’ve started going at lunchtime which enables me to come back to my desk refreshed.
- I made a bunch of plans with a bunch of people. Your friends want to be there for you, so let them.
- I completed a craft and gift for a friend. I got out of my own head for a while and worked on a gift for a friend who is always just a text away
- I got back into yoga. A studio opened up around the corner from me at the perfect time and I’m throwing myself back into an activity I’ve always loved.
- I’m keeping an open mind. Who knows what will happen? Maybe I’ll be single for a while, finally go on that cruise I’ve been dreaming of, or make some new girlfriends. For now, I’m keeping an open mind and welcoming new experiences into my life.
I’d love to hear what you do to find happiness in your life (without resorting to shopping)!
Sweater: JCrew Factory (similar)
Skirt: Limited, really old (similar)
Shoes: Cole Haan (similar)
Necklace: White Goods Company (similar from same designer and similar)
Earrings: White Goods Company
Thank you for this post. I struggle often about resisting shopping and it’s nice to know I am not alone / there are ways around it. xox
Gretchen | gretchruns says
First off, this is by far my favorite look that you shared so far. Everything looks so flattering on you and it’s just interesting enough but also office-appropriate. Not to mention that this color looks FANTASTIC on you-especially with your hair color! Love it!
Second, thank you so much for sharing such a personal post with all of us. It can’t be easy to open up about a breakup and other struggles, so I have so much respect for you being so honest! Good for you on making positive changes in your life, and I can’t see where these changes will lead you :)
Lauren P. says
Ahh this post is so… real. The bit about shopping as a coping method completely rings true (regardless of the size of the trauma). I think your alternative suggestions for dealing are perfect. Hope the rest of your year improves, and thanks for sharing! :)
Steph M says
I just wanted to say that that shade of green is perfection.
JuliaBW, Brighton, UK says
Definitely the best outfit on you so far Jacquelyn – very feminine and sexy but also office appropriate!
Jenna L. says
Jacquelyn, I love this post and relate to it so much. Thank you for being vulnerable with us…definitely can be a scary thing, especially on the Internet! I’ve also used shopping as a feel-good remedy and then later regretted purchases that weren’t wise financially or didn’t fit my lifestyle/other clothes. Thankfully, those days are mostly in the past, and now I try to practice gratitude in the moment when those urges or unhappiness hits. I think about things in my past and my present that I’m thankful for, even writing them down sometimes, and it resets my perspective. Great friends and community help too. :)
Dana P. says
Thanks for sharing Jacquelyn! I’ve been feeling in a rut lately and have felt the urge to buy things to make myself feel better. I know that what change any of the feelings I have, but keeping busy and doing some of the other things you’ve listed certainly would. Here’s to new beginnings and new experiences. :)
I love these ideas! I have a ton of solo down time because of opposite work schedules with my husband, so thrifiting and shopping has been my go-to activity the past few months… But I’ve found that between classes (I’m also at school to become a teacher!) and having a capsule wardrobe to structure my purchases, its been much easier to say no to sales and cute shoes (although theres always a time for that!)
I grab a book, magazine or my laptop and head to a new coffee spot or cafe I’ve been wanting to check out.
Hi there, from a fellow Jacq!
First of all, best of luck in your pursuit of becoming a teacher. I was in the classroom for three years, and they were some of the most meaningful and rewarding of my career. Plus, you’ve already got the perfect teacher outfit going on with that cashmere :)
To help myself resist the urge to buy more, I try to “shop my closet.” I actually wrote about this the other day, but I put clothes that I don’t currently wear into a storage closet, then revisit them a few months later. Often, I’ll find something in that stash that I want to wear again, or that I can alter/ repair to create an almost-new garment. In a way it’s like tricking myself, but it actually does work!
Inspired by your strength and resilience Jacquelyn. Looking beautiful, polished and modern.
I always find that making things bring me so much joy, so much more than shopping! I just finished knitting a sweater, and it felt so great. Although that may be daunting for many, making a pair of earrings can be a really easy project!