Mindful Consumption 

Isn’t it ironic that Black Friday and Cyber Monday take place immediately after the day we are to celebrate being thankful?

I have always felt that Black Friday was horrible. Why would people camp outside a store and attack another person to get what they want? What item is worth losing your peace? I became disgusted when Black Friday was extended to start on Thanksgiving day.

While I never participated  in any Black Friday events myself, I still was a consumer robot. I still fell for consumer traps every time I purchased something I didn’t need simply because it was on sale. I remember one year I purchased 6 sweaters, a cardigan, sweater tights, and knee-high socks from a Loft Cyber Monday event. A couple years later I ended up selling those sweaters because it’s too warm to wear any of them where I reside. They were never worn. Same with the knee-high socks. 

I fell into a vicious cycle of making purchases because I either needed to treat myself for being too stressed or for something I had accomplished. Or I would be browsing an online shop because I was bored and came across a deal I couldn’t pass up. I was a consumer robot.

But discovering Minimalism has helped me to “wake up” and realize what I was doing. I learned how to think before I buy. Eventually I learned to stop shopping for things I didn’t need. I came across Cait Flander’s blog and learned about how she went on a shopping ban to get out of debt. Her blog, and her book, had inspired me to start a shopping ban of my own and actually make it my lifestyle. This has caused me to stop shop browsing and live a more intentional life. Best of all, I became in charge of my life. Being able to say no to a sale makes me feel very powerful!

I would never tell anyone how to live, but I hope that I may challenge you to be a mindful consumer instead of being a consumer robot. Maybe challenge yourself in a small way, whether it be unsubscribing from a shop’s email list or creating a modest budget for Christmas shopping, and see what positive outcomes you receive from those challenges!


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