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Hints From Heloise: Online shopping can become a compulsion

Dear Readers: How are you holding up? With the vaccine rollout going relatively smoothly, our lives may be returning to a sense of normalcy this year.

The pandemic might have brought to the surface many fears in our lives. How do you cope with fear? You can choose to turn to compulsive behavior — repeating a task over and over (gambling, drinking, eating, sex, exercising, shopping, hoarding) — with the hopes it will improve your situation, but alas, it doesn’t.

One pandemic behavior that has surfaced is overindulgence in online shopping. Stores have cut their hours, and maybe you’re not comfortable wearing a mask in public to shop. So you turn to the Internet.

Shopping online is super easy. Just enter what you’d like, enter your credit card number, and that’s it. A package arrives on your doorstep in a few days.

But before you tap that PLACE ORDER icon, ask yourself these questions:

● Am I going to use it?

● Where will I store it?

● Do I need it?

● Can I afford it?

● Do I have something similar?

● What are the emotions that I’m feeling when I’m making this purchase?

Be kind with yourself if you are battling an addiction to a compulsive behavior. But also realize that you need help, and then get it. Your future self will thank you.

Dear Readers: Are you embracing all of the features that your personal computer and/or smartphone has? It can be your phone book, address book, daily planner, taking (on a smartphone) and organizing photographs, sending email to quickly communicate in place of a letter, and even watching TV and movies!

Seek out experts in the family, go online with a major search engine, or even ask your neighbors to help you harness every task your computer and phone can perform.

Dear Heloise: What's bugging me? What's keeping me from focusing on my work? Why can't I concentrate? Easy solution for me: I write it down.

I write it down — "getting it out of my system," essentially — and go back to it at a later time. Problem solved. Back to work, and I can tackle that issue later.

— Helen G. in California

Dear Heloise: I work in human resources, and I've seen a lot over the years, believe me! Here's some new thinking for the 21st century. Remove the following items from your resume: the year of your high school graduation. It's not necessary, and people will be able to calculate your age. Also get rid of your objective statement. It's wordy. Change this to a summary of qualifications.

Finally, you don't need a physical or mailing address on your resume. For your safety, just provide an email address and a phone number.

— Marty K. in New York

Dear Heloise: I take a liquid vitamin supplement from a small bottle daily. After I ingest the liquid, I fill the bottle halfway with water, shake it and drink the water to get all of the product out. The bottles are made of polypropylene and are probably recyclable.

— Kevin G. in Pennsylvania

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to

2021, King Features Syndicate