With all the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s understandable that many of us are feeling worried, anxious, or unsettled. Rest assured that it’s completely natural to experience new emotions during periods of change, but it’s vital that we take steps to look after our health and wellbeing as a result. Here are some of the things we have been doing at Madlug HQ to boost our wellbeing during lockdown.

Get outdoors

There is a wealth of evidence to prove that being in daylight and spending time in green, leafy spaces does wonders to boost mood –– and with the evenings getting lighter and the sun finally making an appearance, there’s even more reason to get outside.

We understand that not everyone can get out and about at the moment, but if you can, take some time to be in nature. Something as simple as going for a run or doing some gardening can be enough to distract your mind from troubling thoughts. Here at Madlug, we’re also rediscovering the joy of taking long walks (for which our outdoor backpacks are the perfect accompaniment!)

Otherwise, taking a few moments to sit calmly and look out of your window can really help. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, observing the beauty of nature — whether that’s spotting cloud patterns in the sky or listening to the sounds of singing birds — can help to ground us. We also recommend bringing the outside in with the sights and scents of house plants, flowers and herbs. Plus, growing them can make a really fun lockdown hobby!

Give to others

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the power of community spirit. Providing hope and joy through difficult times can make a huge difference — not just to those around us, but in ourselves, too. In fact, research suggests that acts of giving and kindness can help improve mental wellbeing in a number of ways. These include giving us a feeling of purpose and self-worth, creating positive feeling and a sense of reward, and helping us to connect with other people.

Acts of kindness during the pandemic can range from checking in on family, friends or colleagues to see how they’re doing, volunteering in the local community, or contributing to important social causes. Providing value, worth and dignity to children in care is a cause close to our hearts and one we’re hoping to increase awareness around (if you’re unfamiliar with our story, you can find out more here).

We operate under a ‘buy one, give one’ initiative, which means for every bag purchased, another is given to a child in care. Purchasing a Madlug bag for yourself or gifting one to someone else is an easy way to support this important cause and give back (while bagging yourself a great product in the process!) Don’t need a new bag, but still want to get involved? You can also donate one here.

Look ahead

Keeping in mind that this is not going to last forever and looking ahead as far as possible reminds us all that positive days lay ahead in the near future. Admittedly, things will have changed, but we can find comfort in the knowledge that some form of normality will once again resume.

According to new research from the University of Surrey, if we are able to look forward to the future, our mental wellbeing will presently be more resilient. The recent study, which was published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, found that gratitude and positive, forward-thinking directed thoughts towards the positive aspects of participants’ lives and gave hope rather than concentrating on a present comparison to the past.

We’ve had lots of discussions within our team about what we’re most looking forward to post-lockdown (besides reuniting with our loved ones, of course). We all agree travel is something we have particularly missed — and new luggage makes that prospect all the more exciting…

Stay active

Now more than ever it’s important for us to stay active, and continuing to move will help to improve both mental and physical health. You’ve probably heard that exercise releases endorphins (also known as ‘happy hormones) and the Madlug team can vouch that this is 100 percent true. Lots of us have discovered new physical hobbies that we enjoy during lockdown, which we’re trying to incorporate into the working day as much as possible.

Time can run away when you’re working from home, but we’ve found that blocking our time in our calendars acts as a good reminder to keep at it (something we also do to remember to stay hydrated — especially when exercising). In addition to making us feel generally more positive and energised, exercise also offers lots of physical benefits. As well as reducing aches and pains, it can also improve the circulatory system, boost heart and lung health, and prevent conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

There are activities to suit every level of mobility and fitness, so if you haven’t found yours yet, why not set a goal each week to try something new? Who knows — you might even find a new passion!

Sharing is caring

We may not physically be in the presence of everyone we care for, but there are plenty of ways we can show our love and appreciation for those people. Why not create a playlist for a colleague as motivation to complete a challenging piece of work, or send a friend an interesting podcast you’ve come across that might inspire them?

Another way to spread the love is through gift-giving. If you’re looking to treat someone special, you can browse our wide range of bags and other products, or send the lucky recipient an eGift card so they can choose something themselves. All gifted out? If you have enjoyed this blog (or any of our other posts), we would love it if you could share via the social buttons at the top of this page.

If you've been out and about to boost your wellbeing and you've brought your Madlug with you, send us your snaps to be in with a chance of winning a £50 gift voucher to spend at our online store! You can tag us on our social media channels or email us at rebecca@madlug.com.

Closing date for entries April 30th.

Written by Emma Gibbins

March 20, 2021 — Rebecca Teeney

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