Anxiety and the Abandoned Shopping Cart header | bookish and badass

The other night, I was shopping online for sunscreen. I put a bottle in my shopping cart, but I decided not to buy it. So I closed the tab and walked away.

I’ve done the same thing many times before – sat down to buy something online, wasn’t quite ready to pull the trigger, and then walked away. Out of sight, out of mind. Right?


A few hours later, I checked my email. What did I find? An email from the sunscreen company letting me know that I have “abandoned” items in my shopping cart. Abandoned!?! The horror!

I understand why these emails go out. A business is trying to make money and be helpful.

Hey! Remember this stuff that you were going to buy but didn’t? Don’t worry, we held onto all of it for you. It’s still there! And here’s a link to buy everything right now. You’re welcome.

Sometimes that abandoned cart email is enough to get me to stop stalling and make a purchase already. But other times, I stay in limbo-land, aka the land of abandoned cart products.

Do I really need this thing? Is it really what I need? Or want? What’s the harm in letting this stuff sit in my cart a little longer?

Well, while I’m still waffling back and forth, the e-commerce minions are working overtime. And the next time I click into my cart, finally ready to buy, things have changed. I discover that the price of my item has now gone up significantly. Or worse, now it’s sold out or not even available.

I spend all that time not making a decision. And when I finally make one, I’m right back to where I started. So now I get to start the whole process over again.

Where am I going with this? Well, anxiety is a lot like an abandoned shopping cart. You’ve got all these thoughts standing by, just waiting for you to give them some attention. And when a worry or two winds up in your shopping cart, that’s when the real ruminating begins.

Maybe you close the browser tab just to open it up again a few minutes later. Yep, those same thoughts are still there. And when you’re finally able to walk away from the whole mess, it’s not out of sight, out of mind. Because guess what happens next?

Yep, that damn email shows up in your Inbox.

Oh hey! Remember all these thoughts? We saved them for you. Yep, still here. Just wanted to remind you that you haven’t done anything with them.

So what can you do? You can empty your cart.

Take a good look at each item, each thought, and make a decision. It’s either let it go or do something productive with it.

I see you thought, and you are not worth keeping. Delete. Remove from cart.

You over there? I actually need you. Buy now.

Shop mindfully. Keep what you need. Let go of what you don’t.