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“The act of shopping as an outlet for frustration and a reliever of stress” (Urban Dictionary).

Saturday afternoon, Mom and I went out for some “retail therapy”. It’s an activity that we both enjoy and these days we rarely get to do together. My Mom is dealing well with the ever-present challenges of caring for my grandparents, their health and their home, which some days can be overwhelming. In fact, today she will be moving my grandmother to a smaller room in the retirement home.

So the purpose of our “retail therapy” was to relieve stress, lighten our mood, and just have some much needed one-on-one time – no crazy relatives, no housework, no deadlines, and no demands. We don’t have the concern of credit card debt (we’re both frugal), nor are we addicted to the thrill of the hunt or the thrill of buying. And shopping isn’t a coping mechanism for an underlying psychological problem (at least of which we are aware). We had fun choosing items for each other, and finding out what looked better on the hanger than on us. And of course, we talked about anything and everything!

After spending close to an hour savouring colours, textures, and fabrics, we moved onto the next portion of our therapy: food. For afternoon tea, I took my Mom to a trendy restaurant with lots of fresh comfort foods: breads, muffins, soups, and scones. We shared 2 scones – orange and strawberry cream – and we were very refreshed by acai berry iced tea. Yum!

By the time we got home, we were very relaxed from our “retail therapy”! Look at it this way: shopping can be preventative therapy, and preventative therapy is a treatment intended to prevent a medical condition from occurring, like insanity. I highly recommend it! (the therapy, not the insanity)

References: http://www.urbandictionary.com