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Nov. 30, 2020 — 10:00 a.m. EST
After experiencing mass confusion and panic brought on by the early days of the pandemic in March, some of us may think we'll never recover from the satisfying feeling of clicking "add to cart" and buying in bulk. But as we've seen nearly a year into the pandemic, essential businesses will and must remain open during times of uncertainty. There's no need to overbuy or panic buy, and doing so is actually harmful to your neighbors, your community, and even yourself. So how can you break up with Amazon and panic buying once and for all?
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Dr. Dow, psychotherapist and author of The Sugar Brain Fix, stopped by The Dr. Oz Show on Nov. 30, 2020 to give some pointers on managing your anxiety shopping, and only having what you need to keep you and your family healthy. Here's what he had to say:
Learn Your Anxiety Shopping Triggers
"There are many subtle psychological drivers at work this year… including a loss of structure, catastrophic prepping, inaccessibility to hobbies, missing family and a cynicism about race relations and wealth inequality," says Dr. Dow. "Whenever we feel anxious and uncertain, we look for something to anchor us and this pandemic is like a stressor on steroids." So you shouldn't feel guilty about your stress-shopping, but rather, get comfortable with acknowledging the problem in order to solve it. You are, after all, a product of your brain's hard-wired responses.
Dr. Dow recommends to pay close attention to what mood you were in or what you were experiencing at the time of making an impulse-buy. You may notice certain times of the day or week that you're more likely to spend or you can track receipts and self-audit yourself on a money management app. That way, you'll begin to see all the purchases in one place that you don't necessarily need.
Unsave Your Credit Card Information
Nowadays, it's so easy to click and checkout in under a minute if your card info is saved on your desktop.
"Deleting all your saved credit cards means that when you want to make a purchase, you have to physically get up, get your wallet or purse, and then enter in your shipping and billing information," says Dr. Dow. "These few extra minutes, and the resulting annoyance, might be all you need to decide you don't want to bother with the purchase at all."
Always Wait 48 Hours Before Checking Out Your Cart
According to Dr Dow, 48 hours is the perfect amount of time to wait because in that amount of time, you'll usually find your desire has waned and you've moved on to something else. "This counteracts that instant gratification addiction," he says.
Hopefully these tips will help you save money and only buy what you truly want and need this year. There's no problem with treating yourself every once in a while, but if you're having trouble paying credit cards or hiding your purchases from friends and family, it could be a sign that you need to practice some of the steps listed above.