It was an autumn Tuesday afternoon when I awoke to my phone ding-a-linging from my second covid slumber of the day. My brain fog was unbearable, headache raging, and my breath smelled like a fresh can of cat food thanks to the tuna salad I ate for lunch.
...at least that's what my boyfriend told me after getting a whiff.
Just wait until a covid-denier catches a load of this virus… they’ll know this thing is legit when they can’t taste or smell anything for weeks.
I’m not going to lie, though. Coming down with COVID made me a freaking litter box cleaning pro.
I picked up my phone to answer a call from a friend. She excitedly proclaims her prideful moment:
Spending thirty minutes in TJ Maxx without making a single purchase.
Yup, walked right out the door. No plastic bags dangling from her wrists. Just a powerful feeling of self-control.
She continues the conversation giddily touting the mantras we had discussed during our workout the previous week. I remember feeling an immense amount of joy for her. I knew that this was the beginning of a long road towards financial well-being fueled by mindful and intentional behavior, which of course, is quite an incredibly beautiful thing for anyone. However, this step was especially life changing for her.
My friend grew up in an unstable and broken home with parents who struggled with addiction.
Where there is instability, there is little structure and guidance.
Financial literacy and responsibility were not frequent topics of conversation. Furthermore, she had been using the act of acquiring new things to fulfill needs and imbalances that she felt elsewhere in her life. She went shopping often and without reason to get that buyers-high hit of dopamine.
I started practicing eco-minimalism about a year ago.
I haven’t been able to shut up about minimalism, mindfulness, and intentional living.
Thankfully, my friend has been able to benefit from my rambling, and I’m so freaking pumped to witness her continuous growth.
I soon realized that this tiny win coincided with my eco-minimalism one year anniversary.
Throughout the past year, I've learned to honor my belongings more, taking care of them by keeping organized spaces for everything, and being mindful of all that I own at all times so that I avoid feelings of lack, insufficiency, and unfulfillment.
Feelings of lack, insufficiency, unfulfillment; translated:
"I feel like I am not enough. I need to add more to me, to my environment, and to my life to feel instant gratification/instant release from these internalized feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt."
When you're shopping, I encourage you to ask yourself:
1. Do I need it?
2. What would the cost per use of this item be? (divide the cost of the item by the number of times you anticipate using it)
3. Did I research the item?
4. Can I buy this item second-hand? (best case scenario, you can apply the five Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse, repurpose)
5. Is this a trend? (this one especially helps in combating fast fashion & other unethical manufacturing practices)
6. Is this for the person I am or the person I want to be? (be real with yourself)
7. Does it align with my ethics?
There are no right or wrongs, and I won’t judge you for your answers.
However, I know how beneficial it can be to know yourself well, regulate what may be emotional spending habits, and make the choice to eliminate unnecessary waste/consumption when the option is available.