Art of shopping ~ Retail therapy
The below article of mine was published in a weekly magazine. So thought of sharing it online too :)
What is it that you do on weekends when you have had outdoor activities enough, dined out a lot, partied like crazy or have explored all the city joints enough or, have spent too much of time indoors? And then, you just want to break free from the monotony of life by indulging in something that makes you forget your woes for the day for a while at least? Shopping! I can already sense the ladies smiling. Well, retail therapy as good as it sounds, is like those dosages that work wonders when one just wants to change something about self by spicing up his or her regular lifestyle. Looks, clothes, attitude and personality undergo a major change during retail therapy. Precisely, shopping acts as a medicine by driving away depression without having to ingest bitter pills and tonics (leave aside the costs incurred in retail therapy). And who doesn't like to shop? The fresh smell of floral prints wafting from branded cloth stores or the comfort feel of hand woven cotton fabrics and denims, the aromatic flavors of the various cosmetics in popular brands and the funky smart footwear that make one imagine self in all delightful ways sporting them with the right attire, draw a person to shop. But then there is always a line, a boundary, a limit for every desire. Isn't it?
Notwithstanding the benefits of shopping, it can act as a drug for people who go overboard with their desire to shop. And that is when it becomes an addiction. Today, shopping is not just an outcome of necessity but has become a way of life, where all it means is to dive into a fantasy world just to be away from the mundane routine only to enjoy the splash of fresh colors and soothing smells. But then if shopping were to become an obsession, it can disrupt a normal life and make it chaotic. And that is where one needs to learn the art of shopping.
‘All that glitters maybe gold but need not to be bought!’
Sometimes, we are so much carried away by the glitterati around us that we often forget that happiness resides in simplicity. And for a shopaholic, it is almost impossible to comprehend. So, if you feel like buying something that you don’t need or may already have, you just need to ask yourself three questions…..
‘Do I need it now?’
‘Is it worth the money I am spending on it?’
‘If at all I buy it, how much or how long will I use it?’
Sometimes, a rhetorical self questioning like that may help you curb those uncontrollable impulses to buy ‘all that glitters’.
‘Learn to give and shop judiciously!’
Many of us, or rather some of us have that emotional attachment with things that make us nostalgic, which in the process prevents us from disposing them off, despite the fact that they just occupy space and our memory and nothing much. Well, it doesn't really hurt to give away what we don’t need. Isn't it? And coming to think of it, just because we like some food, does our body choose to store it indefinitely only because the tongue loves the taste? No. So why not give away old clothes, toys, books, game boards and shoes that are no longer in use? The result is rewarding. Not only do your closets become spacious and clean but also you would realize, how many of those things you had were really put to use in the past and which, now would guide you to shop judiciously. So when you are out with your shopping bags and fat wallet next time, you definitely know what to buy and what not to.
‘Window shopping don’t hurt!’
There is no doubt about the look good, feel good factor that tags along with shopping. But the ‘be good’ factor is overlooked many a time. Sometimes, excessive shopping can lead to excessive spending and zero utilization of the items bought. It also leads a person to believe that his or her happiness resides solely in shopping. And that is where a person totally misses out on the logic behind shopping. In fact, if one were to sit and analyze the consequences of shopaholism, the results are always the same and not very good: Absolute dearth of personal space and time, negligible savings and no peace of mind. In such cases, one can choose to window shop. You can see and feel all you want without pinching your wallet. And that is because all that you want may not be what you need. For that however, developing self control is very important. Easier said than done, I know. Self control is definitely not an easy habit to form. But then don’t they say, “It is the beginning that is always tough and then the rest of the journey is a cake walk!”
Shopping is an art and it comes with experience. There are times, when we just spend money as if there were no tomorrow. It quite happens to all of us at some time or the other. But what one has to realize is to not get carried away by the marketing gimmicks. Moreover, one must apply one’s own logic to shopping by asking self the three questions that have been mentioned above. I am sure you will get your answers right! And to enjoy shopping to the core, all you need to do is choose: Shopping as a need OR as a drug. After all, the take is yours. Happy shopping!