Are you releasing Covid-19 stress through online shopping? You’re not alone

Published on: 18 January 2022, 19:16 pm IST

If Covid-19 stress is making you browse through online shopping portals more than before, don't fret. It may be helping you to reduce pandemic anxiety.

stress and covid-19
Don't feel guilty about indulging in whatever takes your stress away. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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We are all truly smartphone babies, and this applies even to those who belong to the older generations. Some of us are digital natives, while others are converts — but there’s a single thread that binds us — the urge to spend most of our time on our devices. Of course, with the internet boom, life has become much simpler. You can order anything and everything within a few clicks. It is comforting, but also very addictive.

While digitalisation has helped us sail quite smoothly through the pandemic, many of us have resorted to behaviours like frequent online shopping to calm the mind. So, what should we feel about this? Are we doing something wrong or is this a normal reaction? To understand these aspects, HealthShots got in touch with Devisha Batra, senior counseling psychologist, IWill.

Why is this happening?

Batra says that the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the subsequent lockdowns and restrictions have had an untoward impact on the mental health of many across the globe. Each and every person in the pandemic has been through an emotional roller-coaster, but their coping mechanisms may vary.

“While some found solace in adopting a new hobby or just spending time with their family, for others, online shopping became an option that provided respite in these challenging times. Whether browsing or purchasing, people felt happy, less stressed, and in control of the unprecedented environment that left less to control,” she adds.

Many pieces of research have shown that people have turned to retail or online shopping to help themselves during these uncertain times. Online shopping has been popular for many years, but the growth it experienced in times of the pandemic has been like no other.

stress relief during covid-19
Your smartphone can become your favorite stress buster. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“As people were getting used to managing their lives differently, online shopping made them less bored, less lonely and restored a sense of normalcy around.
Online shopping helped people avoid crowds, long queues, and led to the following of social distancing norms, but most importantly, it reduced anxiety that surrounded us in these challenging times, hence providing a window to be less worried,” shares Batra.

Does online shopping help people relieve stress?

Since many were living alone during the pandemic with no channel to socialise, online purchases did provide a sense of reward to individuals, increasing their levels of joy and happiness. It also provided people a chance to look forward to things as one awaits their delivery.

“Plus, as e-commerce platforms have an option to read reviews, it helped people make more informed decisions about their products, which helped in increasing motivation. All of a sudden, as everyone was missing their daily routines and practices, retail shopping led to an emotional boost by providing autonomy and easing the feeling of being low,” shares Batra.

Choosing to make a purchase helped people feel empowered, providing that little ray of positivity. It acted as a tool for relaxation, rejuvenation, and entertainment.

So ladies, now that we know the reason behind this, you NEED not feel guilty at all! Fill your carts now — happy shopping!

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.

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