When the lockdown ends a hidden wave of hoarding behaviour is likely to flood into our lives – a hoarding tsunami that will go far beyond stashes of loo paper and hand sanitiser.
How do we know?
We know that hoarding can be triggered by grief, loss, fear, isolation, loneliness and anxiety. These factors usually affect only a small percentage of us at any one time but in the last year everybody has felt these stresses. The lockdown has deprived some of us of company, love and hugs – while the media has bombarded us all with fears about the pandemic. These ingredients are a perfect recipe for an increase in hoarding behaviour.
When restrictions are lifted we will be euphoric – but some of us will be acting differently when we join the mad dash back to the shops. No doubt the government will be encouraging us to ‘help the economy’ and get back to normal – but will your shopping behaviour be ‘normal’ or will you be soothing your anxieties with some extra purchases?
This might seem pessimistic but forewarned is forearmed.
Hoarding is a trauma-related subconscious behaviour – in other words, it creeps up on you without you noticing. Have you been affected?
Well here are some things you can bear in mind:
Notice what you buy – make sure you really need these new items?
Notice how you feel. Are you buying more stuff than usual to soothe feelings of discomfort? Are you ‘treating yourself’ in a retail therapy kind of way?
Are small arguments happening as loved ones notice unnecessary stuff piling up around your home?
Are you changing your behaviour around your home? Self-isolating again?
Don’t do it – turn to friends and loved ones and spend more time with them.
And remember the good things from the lockdown – the reduction in traffic and noise, being able to hear birdsong… This should remind us of all the beauty that surrounds us, the loveliness of a flower or the feeling of the wind.
Appreciate what the world gives you for free – and then you will STAY SAFE!
If you would like more information or support with your self, or loved ones, hoarding related issues please do contact us.