Firstly, I’ve got some very exciting news, which I will announce at the end of this blog so stay tuned!
For the moment, let’s talk shopping, you know the kind of shopping which results in you wasting time and buying more than you ever intended to! We “pop” to the shops because we think we need something, but the truth is more often than not we’re bored, lonely, avoiding some emotion or something we don’t want to deal with, or procrastinating. Some people would call it retail therapy, I’m calling it part of a habit cycle! We spend an hour looking around, wasting time and money simply as a way to not deal with the things that we really need to deal with.
The Habit Loop
It’s important to note that there are three parts to the habit cycle, which include a trigger, a routine, and a reward. The cycle begins when we become triggered by an emotion we are feeling, and our go-to activity to make us feel better is retail therapy. Shopping then becomes the routine, we browse and we buy something that we do or don’t need. The reward is that feeling of novelty, that rush that we get when we’ve bought something new and experience it for the first time. In his book “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg talks about the three-part habit loop and the best way to change a habit. He states that without changing the trigger, but changing the routine and keeping the reward, we should be able to stop the unhealthy relationship we have with shopping. And let’s be honest the fact is we live in an environment, or in a world where shopping is unavoidable, so it’s important to get on top of this habit, particularly if we want to live a more intentionally slower life.
33 Things to do Instead of Shopping – But Still get the Same Reward!
Now with shopping, the reward is that rush of novelty or fulfilment, but it doesn’t last very long. So let’s talk about some of the things that will give you a similar rush, that doesn’t involve spending money, buying things you don’t need, or adding to the clutter that you’ve worked so hard to reduce in your home. You can experience that kind rush by doing something new, experiencing something new or learning something new. Here are 33 ideas that you could try:
- Go for a walk in a new location
- Hike somewhere you’ve never been before
- Do a puzzle
- Sell things on Gumtree
- Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time
- Play a board game
- Go to the library
- Tidy your closet and find some clothes at the back that you haven’t worn in a while and put them at the front
- Make or create something such as a painting or something out of clay
- Try a new recipe
- Rearrange your furniture
- Eat a picnic dinner in a new location
- Tidy and clean the car
- Take a nap
- Babysit your friend’s kids
- Listen to a podcast
- Read a book
- Learn a language
- Tidy up the apps on your phone
- Go through your photos
- Start a blog, or a YouTube channel, hint hint.
- Leave groups on Facebook that you no longer participate in
- Unsubscribe from emails that you don’t read anymore
- Plan and research a holiday
- Plan a do-nothing day
- Go to the beach
- Go to the forest
- Go for a drive
- Take a walk
- Go to a new location
- Go to a free event in your city
- Explore different parts of your city.
So next time you have a trigger and get the urge to “pop” to the shops, change the routine, and instead choose one of the things listed above, and still get the same reward.
If you would rather learn about this topic via video, check out my YouTube video below.
If you enjoyed this blog and really felt it resonated with you, I’d love to invite you to join my community. And as promised, my very exciting news is that I’m launching the How to Live Slow podcast in May 2020. Soon you’ll be able to find the antidote to the overwhelm of being a modern-day mum, while in transit! For the time being, you can still subscribe to our YouTube channel where you’ll find more slow living ideas, tips and discussion. But you can also subscribe below to this blog, and I will be able to send you emails letting you know the latest news and updates, including when new blogs are released and when my podcast launches.