As the COVID-19 pandemic drives up psychological distress, many people have increased their screen time, online shopping may also include, to cope. Online shopping with best discounts is becoming quite trendy these days.
Like alcohol use or over watching TV, eating, or surfing the internet, online shopping doesn’t pose a problem when used as an occasional treat. For some people, however, these behaviors can turn into habits that are hard to break. Many people hunt overnight for the best online shopping offers and deals.
Online Shopping for your monthly groceries would not usually be considered a behavioral addiction. Neither would making coronavirus related online purchases of office supplies, exercise equipment, or face masks. Financial hardship and relationship issues are other clues your online shopping has become an issue.
For many people, online shopping can be leisurely or social activity. It can feel amazing and desires to feel amazing can get wrapped up with the desire to purchase and own material possessions. Problematic shopping also may occur when people attempt to compensate for unmet psychological requirements, such as a need to feel competent, in control, or connected to others.
Sometimes people turn to comfort products when they feel unsupported by significant others. They may purchase compulsively when they feel confused or ambivalent about their sense of self. So it’s not surprising that during this crucial time of COVID-19, many people report turning to online shopping to cope with significant changes to their work, social, and family lives.
The first is to determine what triggers your online shopping. Are you trying to feel better about yourself or relieve negative emotions such as boredom, stress, or anxiety? Are you feeling unhealthy eating or poor sleep?
Is online shopping occurring mostly in certain circumstances (after a glass or two of wine) or at a certain time of day, after scrolling social media or when you’re lying in bed at the end of a long day, for example?) Next, try to figure out if there are other, more effective ways you can respond to whatever is triggering your excessive shopping.
If you tend to react impulsively to situations, practice identifying your urge to respond and then sitting with that discomfort so that you can choose a less impulsive and more productive or fulfilling response. Being able to tolerate negative things in stressful situations is associated with healthier outcomes. Chatting on the mobile with a friend, exercising, doing a peaceful activity, or practicing a hobby can help you to feel relaxed, supported, and talented. These activities also can lessen your depression and anxiety. Having a schedule will help you control your life and reduce the time available to shop online.
Try to set goals and monitor your shopping behavior. If you have trouble reducing your shopping behavior on your own, seek help from a professional. If you visit your GP, they can refer you to a specialist and provide you with a mental health care plan, which entitles you to Medicare rebates for up to 10 individual and 10 group appointments with some mental health services in a year.