With the COVID-19 pandemic and the practice of social distancing, more people are relying on online shopping. After all, who wouldn’t want to order toilet paper and other essentials while lounging in our couches? With the toilet paper shortage (fiasco, really) a few months ago, no one could blame you for avoiding the chaotic crowd of panic-buying shoppers.
The pandemic made us stop doing some enjoyable activities. One of them is window shopping. Some would say that it can be done online. But you know that’s not the same. Not even one bit.
Shops continue to make their premises as COVID-free as possible. But as long as there’s no vaccine, we’re encouraged to stay home. For now, we’ll settle with that as we remember the things we miss about window shopping.
A Chance to Do Some Exercise
Some would scoff at this. They would ask in bafflement, “How can window shopping be the same as going on a run?” And to them, we’ll say that window shopping is a form of exercise that doesn’t tire us as quickly as going on a run.
Sure, with window shopping, we’re walking around in leisure. But we still exert a lot of energy and burn some calories. It’s similar to sight-seeing. We get distracted by the interesting things we see in shops. So we don’t notice how much time we’ve already spent walking.
A lot of people exercise because they like it. It’s something that they enjoy. Well, in that case, who’s to say we can’t exercise while window shopping? We enjoy the activity anyway. So we might as well burn some calories while we’re at it.
Relieves Your Stress and Improves Your Mood
When we think of “retail therapy,” we think of Cher in Clueless. She received some bad news and cryied about it. So what did she do? Well, she visited some high-end shops along Rodeo Drive, swiped Daddy’s credit card, and got herself some nice dresses.
Retail therapy has some negative connotations to it. It promotes reckless spending. But that’s the thing—it doesn’t always mean spending. Window shopping is also a form of retail therapy. Even psychologists at Psychology Today said so. They said that retail therapy works, especially in improving one’s mood.
When we feel stressed and overwhelmed by our jobs, relationships, and whatnot, we need a break. And window shopping is basically a mini-vacation. We get to see some sights and walk around. It’s a mini-vacation without the pain of packing, booking flights and lodging, and spending too much money.
Taps into Your Senses
As we’ve said before, window shopping is an experience in itself. And it’s because it engages us through our senses. When we walk into a clothing shop, for instance, we are met with the sounds of good music playing through the speakers. Then, we catch sight of the elegant interior design of the shop. We catch a whiff of perfume wafting in the air. And we run our hands over the glimmering clothes hanging on slatwall display units.
No amount of online shopping could compare to physically entering the shops. This is why business owners invest thousands (millions for big corporations) of dollars in the design, decor, and upkeep of their physical stores. They’re all about making the whole shopping experience enjoyable and memorable for us consumers.
Encourages Us to Work Hard
We work hard to achieve something. That’s our default mode. Some people would frown upon us if we associate aspirational goals with shopping. They would tell us that working to achieve material wealth is not the way to go. But what’s wrong with buying ourselves the latest iPhone model after working so hard in the past couple of weeks?
Window shopping allows us to see some things that we want to work hard for. We rack up on hours at work and forgo some fancy takeout so that we can save some money. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the sense of fulfillment. Working hard and then rewarding ourselves should be one of the best feelings in the world.
Social distancing urges us to stay home as much as possible. If we can avoid going out, then we should. Because of this, we’ve lost some of our favorite pastimes. We can’t travel overseas for leisure. We can’t eat at restaurants and hang out in coffee shops without being scared of the virus. When we go to stores, we often do it for essentials only.
Walking around shopping districts is a whole other experience that we miss. We don’t even have to spend a cent. We want to walk around and see all these stores. Just visiting them is an experience in itself. We’ll just have to wait until we’re much safer from the virus.