Coping With Stress And Excess

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Today, I drew myself a hot bath with the intention of letting go of all my worries and relaxing.  But something was off and I actually struggled to relax. My mind was occupied and I couldn’t focus on any one thing, let alone relax. Why? This weekend, it had occurred to me that my shopping habits weren’t quite in the past. They were very much present and I was back to my old self.

So how did this happen again? Or why is it still happening? I had to be honest with myself and delve a little deeper. As we enter the winter season, I obviously had to buy myself a winter wardrobe right? New gloves, new coat and new sweater? Yes please!

I’ve been stressed at work recently so clearly products to reduce my stress were a necessity. A stress relieving candle, relaxing bath salts and a book about meditation were essential in my eyes. Thank god for Amazon and free delivery!

As I list all the refunds I’m due in the notes app on my phone and prepare my next batch of ‘to be returned’ parcels, I wonder if I will ever change my behaviour.

When I really thought about it, I realised there were several factors that had contributed to this old habit popping up in my life again. Not to make excuses but on some level, I think I was shopping to deal with the things that were keeping me up at night. In the last few weeks, my job had become so stressful that I dreaded being in the office. I was also dealing with a serious family issue which had consumed my thoughts more than I expected.

On top of all that, I was battling with my longtime demons, depression and anxiety. With all of that combined, I fell off the wagon and I turned to shopping to self-soothe. It was my temporary escape. Some use drugs or alcohol to cope, I use shopping. Spending money on things for myself gives me a temporary high. It makes me feel good. Whether I am splurging on beauty products or buying pots of my favourite dessert, it’s my way of taking care of myself. This is how I deal with difficult times.

So another week, another revelation. I don’t just shop for fun or pleasure and it wasn’t just a habit. I discovered that shopping was something I turned to when I felt less than positive. Now I am faced with the challenge of finding other ways to deal with stress and anxiety. Surely, in this day and age, as an adult, I am capable of dealing with stress in a healthier and mature way? Only time will tell. And time is something I need to give myself.

 

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