Why aren't you shopping right now?
I've been thinking about how often I would use shopping as a hobby in the past -- and even thrifting when I started separating myself from fast fashion.
But I think shopping was even more than a hobby for me.
Shopping was seriously like... my personality. It was what people knew me for. As a naturally anxious person, it was my icebreaker, my crutch. My way of getting to know someone and starting a conversation. Whenever I meet someone, the first thing out of my mouth is always a compliment about what they're wearing. Don't get me wrong -- it's not disingenuous. But is that really all I have to talk about?
In this short amount of time since I started this sustainability journey, I've really had to think about who I am and what I enjoy. So for the rest of the year, I'm going to work on #swappingshopping for other activities. I know how fun it is to shop -- believe me. I know how it can be a stress reliever. I know how not everyone is 100% satisfied with the clothing they currently have. I know how some use shopping to support their side hustle! But I'm commiting to stopping shopping as a hobby. Are you with me?
The next time you find yourself bored & wanting to shop, here are some things to do instead. The first ten are courtesy of some of my favorite Instagrammers.
1. Scroll through some #subreddits. @uncomplicatedspaces loves r/AnimalsBeingDerps and enjoys reading the comments on news articles.
2. Experiment in the kitchen. @callmeflowerchild veganizes dishes and her favorite thing to cook is Salvadoran pastelitos (which is already vegan).
3. Practice your photography. @fashandtalks likes to photograph herself, her family, strangers and nature.
4. Taste some new wines. @notbuyingnew drinks wine in the evenings and dances like Kate Bush in the kitchen!
5. Browse a bookstore while listening to music. @alizetigirl jams to 80s soundtracks and pretends she's in a movie. (Everyone needs to try this one.)
6. Learn how to bake bread. @petraalexandra tries new bread and cookie recipes!
7. Exercise or move your body! @thestyleintermission practices martial arts (and even is a black belt in Taekwondo!!!)
8. Or slow it down and take some deep breaths, stretch or practice yoga. @hashtagidle practices yoga to help her feel empowered and focus on positivity, which she brings into her daily life.
9. Try a DIY project. @caraleebrooke sews and mends her clothing and is considering upcycyling a t-shirt into a reusable bag!
10. Try out a local restaurant. @foreverbecca's favorites to try are Thai, Japanese and Chinese restaurants.
11. Play a board game.
12. Marie Kondo your home.
13. Visit furry friends at the animal shelter -- even if you don't plan to adopt!
14. Learn to mend your clothing.
15. Practice calligraphy.
16. Try to build something from scratch.
17. Visit a local museum.
18. Pack a picnic and head to a park.
19. Call your grandmother and ask her what was the best thing that happened to her this week.
20. Text an old friend and remind them of a funny memory you two shared.
21. Draw a self-portrait, regardless of your skill level!
22. Try to win a radio contest.
23. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.
24. Pluck your eyebrows. Or admire their natural arch.
25. Create or analyze your budget.
26. Start a petition.
27. Learn to crochet and make a scarf.
28. Repot your plants.
29. Deep condition your hair.
30. Research a favorite topic of yours -- see where you end up!
31. Watch a documentary (specifically The True Cost.)
32. Write a blog featuring something you're passionate about.
33. Clean out your car.
34. Re-read your favorite book.
35. Check out an audiobook from your local library.
36. Learn how to make your favorite coffee drink or cocktail at home.
38. Take a bubble bath.
39. Play with your pets or take them for a walk.
40. Learn a new language (Duolingo is a great app!)
41. Try a new hiking path.
42. Plan a future road trip.
43. Find a recipe using only the ingredients you have on hand.
44. YouTube a painting tutorial and have a paint and sip at home!
45. Sketch a tattoo idea.
46. Try to make a face mask with natural ingredients.
47. Look at old photographs that make you happy.
48. Catch up on your shows or rewatch an old favorite.
49. Share your favorite movie with someone you love.
50. Invite your friends over for a small dinner party.
51. Make a list of things you want to accomplish next month.
52. Catch up on sleep.
53. Try to identify a tree that is unfamiliar to you.
54. Get all dressed up and have a photoshoot just because!
55. Recreate an old photo with your siblings.
56. Call your local government and share a change you'd like to see in your city.
57. Find a new podcast (perhaps Body Banter? Or Still Processing? Or Escaping NXIVM?)
58. Practice an instrument.
59. Go for a run around your neighborhood.
60. Go to the movies for a matinee.
61. Join a crafty class such as scrapbooking or quilting.
62. Complete a puzzle.
63. Invent something that will make your meaning routine easier.
64. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet.
65. Learn to code a simple program.
66. Ask your parents what their favorite album was as a child and listen to it with them.
67. Buy a gym membership or see if you can try out the gym before making the commitment.
68. Write a letter to yourself to open a year from now.
69. Create a family tree.
70. Learn sign language
71. Take a long drive on some country roads.
72. Listen to an audiobook under the stars with your favorite people.
73. Play a favorite video game.
74. Call a local non-profit and see how you can volunteer your time.
75. Attend a high school or college baseball or soccer game.
76. Ride a bike or roller blade to complete your errands.
77. Make something out of clay.
78. Try to break a world record.
79. Have you ever head of GISH? Look into it. (Also tell me if you want to join my team this year!!!)
80. Create care packages for the homeless.
81. Join a community garden or learn how to grow a tomato plant in your apartment.
82. Play some games from your childhood: Double Dutch? Hula hoop? Skip-it? Bop It??
83. Organize the junk drawer.
84. Decorate a cake to celebrate something seemingly small.
85. Try geocaching. Even if you don't find any treasures, the hunt is a bulk of the fun.
86. Swap some plastic, disposable home products for sustainable, reusable alternatives.
87. Learn to juggle.
88. Polish your shoes.
89. Ask someone in your family to tell the story of the day you were born, or another early memory.
90. Make an appointment with a counselor.
91. Find the closest body of water to you, and spend some time drinking it in.
92. Make a plan to catch the sunrise and sunset from a special place at least once this month.
93. Solve a Rubix cube.
94. Create a scavenger hunt for the younger people in your life. Or for your friends!
95. Learn how to play a new card game.
96. Give a stranger a compliment that isn't about their clothing.
97. Build a bonfire.
98. Go fishing.
99. Write a song, poem or personal essay.
100. Try to change someone's mind about hobby shopping. Share this list!
So what do you think? Have more ideas? Share them in the comments below!
Until next time, fam.