Quarantine, oh quarantine. While citizens of the world have missed out on an unconscionable amount of opportunities the last few months, whether it be jobs, college, sporting events, or what seemed a simple hair cut, a big one that was taken from us suddenly was good old fashioned shopping. The kind that happens in stores and not online.
I've never been a big online shopper, and that didn't really change during quarantine except for a few things here and there. I enjoy walking into a store and being greeted by a sales associate, feeling the fabrics of clothing, looking at cuts and seams, trying pieces on, and then making my final decision. So much of this fun is taken out of shopping when it happens online.
The other day, many shops in NYC reopened for the first time in about 115 days. Once I heard of this news, I laced up my sneakers and hit the concrete to see about all this.
I went into basically every store on lower 5th Avenue in the most eager way a person could. I ditched the typical AirPod accessory to fully immerse myself in the experience 100 percent. I didn't want to buy anything, I was just so excited about the feeling again. Feelings!
As I was looking around, breathing in the smells of new inventory, listening to Pandora pop playlists coming from the ceiling, and hearing murmurs of sizing questions, I realized something about shopping that only COVID-19 could teach me.
When we as people are shopping, we are forced to think positively about the future. Shopping is a vehicle to break from our current reality and look forward to something which is a key element to maintaining positivity and optimism. We buy pretty dresses for the wedding we just got invited to, or preppy, cute pants that will match the professionalism of our upcoming PowerPoint presentation at work. Never has anyone ever bought something thinking, "Let me get this, I'm sure I will look terrible and be unhappy in this." We shop for things that make us happy in how we look, in who we are, and can help turn us into who we want to be.
This is so healthy for our minds and happens a lot more often than we think.
And, it doesn't always have to be associated with clothing. A similar phenomenon happens even when purchasing food or a moisturizer, for example. We get a cup of coffee or a muffin and are thus doing something that makes us feel good in order to have success and happiness in the very near future. "I'll drink this now so that I am alert for my activities this morning" or "I'll eat breakfast so that I am ready to tackle my day." For something like a moisturizer, we are prepping ourselves to look and feel great.
In these small acts, we are taking actions in our life to then take on a bigger action in order to be successful and productive, even if it be in the most minor way. Ultimately, these minor accomplishments add up to a productive lifestyle and feeling within ourselves and in our environments.
So, if you needed it, here is your excuse to go shopping!