Walking through the mall yesterday, I was completely clueless to the fact that it was the “biggest shopping weekend of the year” (I was quickly made aware of it once I entered the mall though!). I am quite impressed though by the irony of this weekend – Thursday is spent sharing memories with families and expressing our gratitude, and yet the next day is spent spending on materials in excess (sometimes at the expense of others), for said loved-ones.
Now I am no stranger to shopping (I like window shopping and am easily distracted by the glitter and bright lights of materials), but I wonder at how flash sales affect the health of others, especially those with addictive behaviours. Just like everything in life, too much of anything is negative and detrimental to our health. Engaging in some shopping can be a positive experience – it is sociable, raises dopamine levels, and is good exercise. For those with irregular dopamine levels (a common precursor to addictive and competitive behaviours), flash sales and shopping can be dangerous and lead to financial repercussions.
Here are some shopping tips to stay safe and healthy this black Friday:
- Use logic. Ask yourself -do you really need this? Not want. But need? If your own logic is blurred, have a friend/family member life line to pose the same question.
- Set a budget. Anything over your budget is a no-go.
- Use cash, not credit. Cash shows the actual money you are spending. Credit is “supposed” money. Never spend money you don’t have, ever (this is life advice!). Same with your energy (which is like cash, just a transfer of means) – never spend more energy than you have!
- Eat before you go. It’s like shopping in the grocery store when you are hungry – you always buy more with hungry eyes! A meal high in protein will help keep your blood sugar stable and less prone to dopamine charged spending splurges.
- At the end of it all, prioritize. If you come home with a lot of packages, that’s okay. That a deep breath, have a meal, then access your purchases. What was bought on impulse and unneeded? You can always take things back, that’s perfectly okay.
This Friday, be safe, be healthy, be kind, be resourceful.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!