Black Friday in Shopping Addiction Recovery
Many Americans look forward to Thanksgiving all year long. It’s an opportunity to spend the day with loved ones, indulge in holiday delicacies and count your blessings. Thanksgiving also kicks off the holiday season in earnest, with many retailers advertising sales to entice people to spend money on gifts. Unfortunately, these ads can be triggering for people in shopping addiction recovery and may cause a relapse.
The ongoing pressures of our consumeristic culture may make Black Friday uniquely stressful for you, especially if you struggle with compulsive shopping and any co-occurring mental and behavioral health disorders like depression, anxiety or substance use. How can you preserve your mental health this holiday season?
Warning Signs of a Shopping Addiction
When compulsive shoppers buy things like clothes, electronic gadgets, jewelry and cosmetics for themselves or others, they get a rush of pleasure. However, a surge of buyer’s remorse may soon follow, sparking a vicious cycle that leads to mounting debt and closets cluttered with unnecessary items.
Driven by messages that spending money is patriotic and supports our economy, you may develop a shopping addiction because the act of buying new things makes you feel excited and happy. Here are some red flags to look out for this Black Friday:
- Using discounted prices to justify buying things you don’t need
- Hiding evidence of shopping trips, such as purchases or receipts
- Self-soothing with shopping
- Feeling guilty or ashamed of how much you spend
- Continuing to spend more than you can afford
How to Stop Overspending
Start by using these tips to protect your bank account and mental well-being this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
1. Do a Digital Detox
You may want to turn off your notifications or put your cellphone and other devices into airplane mode in the time leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That way, you won’t see all the emails and targeted ads about sales. As a bonus, a digital detox can improve your mood, sleeping patterns and overall quality of life.
2. Find a Distraction
If you know Black Friday will be triggering for you, make plans with friends and family so you won’t be alone. You can sign up to volunteer or do other community activities to keep yourself busy. Instead of being weighed down by buyer’s remorse, you will feel uplifted about all the good you’ve accomplished.
3. Be Logical
Shopping triggers stem from irrational beliefs such as a fear of missing out. You may see a sale offer that makes you think the price will never be better, but that isn’t always the case. Shopping can cause sensory overload, and the longer you browse, the more blurred your judgment will be. The more choices you look at, the less capable you’ll be of making a wise decision. Unless you’re shopping for essential items like food, give yourself time and space between adding an item to your cart and checking out.
Adult Dual-Diagnosis Treatment at Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services
Ultimately, the best way to cope with a shopping addiction or dual diagnosis is to seek counseling to address your triggers and complex emotions. Pine Grove offers a comprehensive, 12-step-based treatment program to help you regain control of your life. We are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to answer your questions about our behavioral health, psychiatric or addiction treatment programs. Please reach out to us online to learn more.