Sadie’s column

Sadie Dowhan, Digital Content Editor

I have many likes and obsessions that fluctuate between the months, seasons and days. Whatever the particular passion, I could talk about it for hours, but I’ll spare you the time and write a couple hundred words instead.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve had the very unfortunate obsession of shopping. I say unfortunate because while it fills me with joy it simultaneously empties my wallet. Treating yourself to something you love at a store is a feeling like no other. I learned some very valuable lessons while falling down the retail therapy rabbit hole.

Like any obsession, I shop to make myself happy—a distraction to my stress. It’s no doubt that this is an anxious time for seniors. We’re worrying about college, leaving our hometown and making significant life decisions. Whenever I’m confronted with this stress, I tend to shut down. I’ve learned that finding things that make me happy helps to get me out of this worry spiral, which includes driving, listening to my music and going shopping. When the big change is scary, I find fun, small change like a new Rare Beauty blush or prom shoes. 

Regrettably, those TJ Maxx and Old Orchard Mall runs have turned into a habit, and my love for shopping turned into a fear of spending money. So, I had to find a way to fuel my retail therapy while not stressing myself out. This stumped me for a while, but I found two solutions.

Firstly, online shopping is amazing. I’m able to look at everything a store has to offer, there are special sales, and I can fill up a cart without tiring out my arms. After I’ve scrolled through almost everything I’m interested in and have a favorites list and cart full of things I don’t really need, I simply don’t buy any of it. I know it sounds weird, but, for me, it really does work. This way, I can add whatever I might want to a list and get the joy of picking things out, without the guilt of spending money or wasting it on something I won’t use.

My second solution does involve money, but it’s through spending cash. For me, I count the money I have as the money in my bank account, so when I spend cash, that number stays the same. Because the cash is only the amount stated on the paper, I’ll only bring a $20 bill with me to the mall, and I can’t spend more than that. Even if I want to, I don’t have any to spend, so I don’t go overboard.

The moral of the story is that when your brain feels busy, or everything seems stressful, take care of yourself the best way you know how. Think about what brings you joy, find what calms you, and treat yourself. I can guarantee you deserve it.