The stress of choice

pexels-photo-253668.jpegI’m now so used to having a small number of items to choose from when getting dressed, that I find too much choice quite stressful.

I went shopping with a friend recently and was taken aback as to how hard I found it. I’ve forgotten how to browse – which, to be honest, I don’t consider to be a bad thing!

Before we set out, she enquired anxiously whether it was okay to shop ‘now that you’re a minimalist’!! I explained that, of course, I still needed and wanted to shop, but I try to make it more intentional and more of a conscious choice.

These days, I shop armed with quite specific ideas. So, I wouldn’t just say, for example, ‘I need a jumper’. I would know what colour, neckline, sleeve-length, fabric and style I wanted, which would fit in with my capsule and give me as many options as possible. And then I would be very focused on looking for something that fit my idea. Like I said, it ain’t browsing!

I now find when I visit the shops, whether bricks-and-mortar or on-line, the sheer volume of choice can be overwhelming. As it happens, that day I was looking for a shirt for work and I left with nothing! Zilch! There were many options but none that fitted my idea. Faced with too much choice, I chose nothing.

My friend had no such limitations and got everything she wanted – and then some. She left happy and I left feeling I needed to lie down with a cold cloth on my forehead!

Rather than doing that, I opened my wardrobe and looked at the carefully curated, neatly hanging small number of items. I felt a sense of peace and calm. There were some shops we had visited (naming no names) where there were piles of clothes just dumped randomly, many on the floor and some just dangling off hangers, creased and pathetic-looking – staffed by people who clearly didn’t want to be there – and I couldn’t blame them. I didn’t feel one bit deprived leaving empty-handed from those stores!

My poor friend! I’m probably not as fun to shop with as before. But I don’t want to view shopping as entertainment. I still like shopping but it’s more an intentional exercise for me now and browsing and impulse-buying has no place in it.  I choose less stress!

Have a great week 😊

  9 comments for “The stress of choice

  1. April 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    I hate shopping so much. I have major decision fatigue and these days I actually prefer shopping online through StitchFix or some other order service where we can be sent a few pieces and then can just choose what I like and send the rest back. I hate going to stores, it is just so much mental energy to make all those selections.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 17, 2018 at 10:47 am

      When you get out of the habit of shopping, it’s amazing how time-consuming and annoying it can become. And, as you say, the mental energy needed – energy which could be spent elsewhere! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. March 13, 2018 at 12:08 am

    I have the same feeling when I go shopping now! I used to get very excited and leave with everything I wanted and more. But now, it’s hard to even look at all those racks of clothes that people will buy and then probably not wear anyway. It makes me sad to see people with bulging shopping bags ripping tags off of new items. I think it’s for the best though, saves money, time, stress, space, etc and I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 13, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Hiya Steph, that’s exactly how I feel. And while I’ve focused, in this post, on the stress element, you’re so right regarding the money, time and space factors as well! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. March 12, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Lorraine, this is my shopping experience in a nutshell! I really enjoyed reading these reflections and can see my ‘shopping self’ in them. This reminds me of when I went shopping with a friend last year. We had met up for coffee but then she asked if I would go with her to buy a few pieces that she needed for her new job. She’s a close friend, so I obliged, but I honestly think I was a terrible shopping companion!! The bright lights, loud music, mass-produced items (99% of them probably from highly unethical labour practices, as we know)…needless to say, I was rather relieved when that outing was over, and like you all I wanted to do was lie down with a cold cloth on my forehead. It really is interesting to pause for a moment and recognise shopping for what it has become for most of us – recreation rather than necessity. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Lorraine!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 12, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Lisa, thanks so much for your comments. Once you start viewing something in a different way, it’s very hard to see things the way you once did! And, quite frankly, I’m thankful for that! It’s interesting that you had such a similar experience. I did wonder whether I was just being a bit grouchy!! And you’re so right about the mass-production and unethical practices – I rarely venture into these shops but felt I couldn’t dictate to my friend. But there’s no way some of these shops can sell clothes at the prices marked and still make a profit, unless someone is being paid a pittance along the way – not the sort of business I want to support 😦 Thanks for reading, Lisa, I love seeing your name pop up in my in-box – looking forward to your next podcast! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. March 11, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Laughing at the cold cloth statement…I feel the same way most times I have to go with friends! However, I must confess that I too have an ongoing list on my phone of items I’d like to find. The criteria is harsh so when I do see something I know it. Often, believe it or not, I am the one in the group with the shopping bags at the end but they contain things off the “list” which is now an ongoing joke with the buds who wish they too had a list. Make it girls and stick to it! Great post!-Laurel

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 11, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks a million, Laurel. A list certainly sounds like the way to go – very intentional!! I’m all for harsh criteria as it’s far more likely that you’ll end up with something you love and will therefore use. Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

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