5 Tips To Avoid Shopping Addiction This Holiday Season, and “Save 100% By Not Buying Now!”

Simple Holidays

Thought for today:

The media pressure to shop can be uncomfortable for compulsive shoppers new to DA.  When we open email this time of year, we might find hundreds of unsolicited “Black Friday Sale” emails.  Turning on the T.V., we may see dozens of commercials that seem to blend love and Santa Claus with 0% Down notices to buy cars and jewelry.  What’s going on, and how do we deal with it?  It all starts with awareness.

DA Tool 9: Awareness:

“We maintain awareness of the danger of compulsive debt by taking note of bank, loan company, and credit card advertising and their effects on us. We also remain aware of our personal finances in order to avoid vagueness, which can lead to compulsive debting or spending.”

Marketers would like us to get into the habit of buying early in December, because buyers are more likely to return throughout the month.  But we don’t have to do what they want.  When everyone else seems to be swimming like salmon upstream to stores, and shopping hours online for gifts, we can pause and check our motives.

A member shares:

“I’m a compulsive debtor and I’m surrounded by people this time of year who ask me to go out shopping.  Family who know I have a problem seem to forget.  I know it’s my problem, not theirs, it’s just hard.  But I need to get stronger before I go into the mall this month.

“Being inundated with these advertisements can take a toll.  I went to the doctor and learned that the light deprivation was causing me anxiety, and that compounded with all the media pressure to buy was making me miserable.  I found things to do improve my days, from my doctor and from DA.

“I have to stay vigilant work my program all the time, and work to stay solvent by focusing on my program and my job, and by spending time with people, who are important to me.  It’s more important to build memories than buy things.”

Shopping addiction

Walking through miles of mall corridors, searching for holiday gifts, is not the ideal workout, and it can leave us feeling desperate, depressed, and anxious if we don’t find that “perfect gift”.

If we feel obligated to get a gift, there are strategies that can help.  Some simple things that do not occupy our minds full-time, and do not cost a lot of money:

  • Ask someone else to make the purchases for us.  We can give them a set amount to not exceed.  We need to let go of the outcome in this case.
  • We can give small amounts of cash (if we can afford it and they really would prefer it.)
  • We can give gift cards with a money amount.
  • Craft stores sell novelty gifts such as Christmas tree ornaments or coffee mugs which we can fill with the family portrait from a recent Christmas card.
  • We can call a gift moratorium with some people – we can talk frankly with siblings, understanding that there is no need to buy each other gifts, but perhaps save gift-giving for each others’  children.

Ask:

Am I spending too much time shopping?

Meditation for today:

Sometimes feelings come up that overwhelm us.  These feelings can pass through us if we consciously deal with them.  We learn to enjoy life when we allow feelings to flow like water, and not try to dam them up.  Feelings are like flowing water.

Affirmation for today:

“Just for today, I will face my life with courage.  With the help of DA and my Higher Power, I have what I need to live through whatever this day brings.*

* From DA pamphlet P-129

A great treatment to relieve anxiety during the short winter’s days:

This really works for those with seasonal anxiety and depression: This visor light therapy shines 10,000 lumens of blue/green light clinically designed to improve brain chemistry.   Gazing once a minute into the light for twenty minutes can help restore serotonin to the brain, which helps mood during the short winter days when light so limited.  The Feel Bright Light Portable Light Therapy Device with Rechargeable Battery and Charger can help you feel better all day long.

Recommended book: 

Another book which has inspired this blow post is How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously*: Based on the Proven Principles and Techniques of Debtors Anonymous

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