Though utterly convenient, online shopping often turns my bank account and self-image into total turmoil. Hundreds of dollars worth of clothes, home decor, makeup, and plane tickets can be purchased with a quick click of my MacBook’s mouse.

I go  to to purchase a lingerie set for a friend’s upcoming bachelorette party. An hour passes, and  a moisturizer, mascara, workout top, pair of booties, denim jacket, decorative couch pillow, and bath mat sit in my shopping cart. I need some of these items, and a few are on sale. These are great deals, I also tell myself, drooling on the keyboard. The pillow will tie the living room together. Your current mascara is volumizing; shouldn’t you have a thickening one, too? You’ve been working so hard. Treat yourself.

And “Complete Purchase.”

Hours later, I realized I forgot to purchase the lingerie. y And this put me way over the monthly amount I budget for shopping. (Honestly, I knew this at the time of purchase.) I start to feel guilty, beat myself up for having zero self-control, and stop looking forward to receiving the items. (P.S. Pretty sure mascaras all work the same way, what was I thinking?)

As I anxiously contemplate returning the items and blocking ecommerce websites from my browser (which reminds me of my parents blocking MTV when I was a teenager), I instead close my laptop. This negative self-talk was getting old and not helping the situation. How can I start recovering more gracefully and treating myself with more kindness after these spending binges?

Here’s how I navigated this spending binge, along with how difficult each step was for me.

Step 1: Forgive yourself—outloud

I thought about how I would talk to a friend who had recently gone a little overboard (OK—a lot) in terms of spending. Would I tell her she was a total financial failure and had the self-control of a toddler, like I was currently telling myself? Probably not.

I decided to forgive myself the same way I would a BFF: verbally. And with eye contact. I dragged myself to the bathroom, looked myself in the mirror, and forgave myself. “I forgive you for getting caught up in a spending frenzy. It’s going to be OK. Thank you for apologizing.”

Resilience Score: Good

It sounds simple and easy, but it took me awhile to get myself to actually do this. But after a few hours of languishing in my own self-pity, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try some positive self-talk. To be honest, it felt completely hokey and awkward. But to my astonishment, it worked. I felt better.

Shouldn’t we value our relationship with ourselves just as much as those with our loved ones? Doing this for myself lifted a weight off my shoulders and cleared the air. It gave me permission to move forward.

Step 2: Assess the damage

Once I forgave myself, I was able to stop dwelling in guilt. My next step was to realistically assess the damage. I returned to my desk to objectively review my credit card statement and budget. After all, it’s hard to repair something if you can’t grasp the damage that’s been done.

Yes, I was way over the amount I allocate for shopping. But after taking a closer look, I noticed that I had barely spent anything on transportation this month. If I also cut my budget for social activities by $125, I would be back on track. I texted a few girlfriends who I had plans with in the upcoming weeks. They happily obliged to cook at home instead of trying a new restaurant and watch Netflix rather than going to a movie. One even mentioned she wanted to watch her spending and was grateful I suggested it.

Though my shopping budget is way over, I made adjustments and compromises in other areas to keep my overall monthly spending on target.

Resilience Score: Needs Improvement

I sat down at my desk with the intention of immediately assessing the damage, but I procrastinated on Facebook and email for a few minutes before finding the courage to pull up the shopping bill. When I first saw it, I felt a quick pang of guilt. But once I started looking at my budget and brainstorming solutions, I started to feel productive and and capable. After I discovered one solution, I felt motivated to find another. Though diving in was momentarily difficult, staying resilient throughout was easy and incredibly rewarding.

Step 3: Detox and Reset

We feel hungover when we have too much booze. In this case, I was in the midst of a spending hangover. Continuing to pull out my credit card would just make the hangover last longer. I decided to engage in a spending detox for 12 hours to feel balanced and start fresh. I hit the “reset” button on spending.

Resilience Score: Excellent

This was the hardest step of all. I entered Starbucks only to immediately exit—I forgot I couldn’t buy my afternoon latte. Instead, I headed home to make a cup of coffee. Dinner was comprised of leftovers instead of takeout or fresh groceries. My favorite $20 yoga class transformed into a simple walk around the park.

Though this was difficult and even felt somewhat silly in the moment, I was proud of myself at the end of the detox period—a stark emotional contrast from just hours before. These moments of saying “no” reminded me of my strength. I was ready to ease back into spending from a place of balance and confidence.

Next up: I’m planning to take steps to prevent spending binges from happening in the first place. However, finding ways to take care of my mental and emotional health post-binge was critical for me. By doing this, I think I’ll be in an even better position to consciously (and lovingly) assess my spending habits.