7 ways to stay sane like a Hedoine

Social distancing is about as fun as it sounds. But we don’t believe in sulking. There’s an opportunity to be had in every situation – including isolation. And it doesn’t always mean ‘achieving’ something.

From workout routines and learning new skills to doing the things that bring pure enjoyment – here’s how the Hēdoïne team are making the most of social distancing.


One of the first things we did to respond to the current crisis that’s sweeping the world was to dedicate 10% of our sales to the World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 response fund. Apart from making your own donation to WHO, small businesses, volunteer services and charities need us more than ever. Now we’ve all got a bit more time to give so these are the ways we’re doing it:

  • Supporting small businesses - Take a leaf out of Art Director Leesa’s books and make sure to take pictures of any small businesses in your area that appear to be open and share them with local friends or on social media to encourage support.

  • Find local charities - From local soup kitchens to hospitals, find out how and what you can donate to aid those who are supporting our communities. Valeria, our CPO, has donated to her local hospital in Italy who were in need of masks and hand sanitizers. We’re also on the lookout for food banks and soup kitchens that will be in need of supplies.
  • Check on your local community - Co-founder and CEO Alex has been keeping an eye on her local community by leaving notes for elderly neighbours should they need assistance. There are also lots of local community groups popping up to offer help – you’d be surprised at the people around you who need support so make sure to check in.
  • Check in with charities you’ve donated to in the past - CMO Leonie supports Soi Dog Foundation, a charity that rescue and provide new homes for injured animals in Thailand and says “many charities like these are struggling with the lack of volunteers or depletion of donations, so it’s worth checking in with any you support to see if they’re in need of help”. While CPO Valeria continues her support for Organic Savanna, a non-profit organisation from Kenya who sells beauty products and devote all revenues to training programmes for the women of the community, as well as education for their children.

The books we love


You know all those books you’ve been meaning to read? Well now you have time. Clearly a team of avid readers, we’ve rounded up the books we’re burying our heads in – and head burying right now is recommended:

Mindset shifting

  • The Black Swan - The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (if you haven’t yet, now is the time to read it..)
  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Originals - How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
  • Utopia for Realists and How We Get There by Rutger Bregman
  • World Order by Henry Kissinger
  • Wabi Sabi by Beth Kempton
  • How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
  • Good Vibes, Good Life by Vex King
  • Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Perez
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  • Playing Big by Tara Mohr
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  • The Body - A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson
  • A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up by Tom Phillips

Pure escapism

  • The Collected Poems of Silvia Plath
  • The Brief Life of Flowers by Fiona Stafford
  • Bad Blood (Theranos Story) by John Carreyrou
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Shantaram by Gregory David Robert
  • The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • The Architecture of Happiness by Alain De Botton
  • The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
  • Ovid's Metamorphoses

Business bossing

  • Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
  • What it Takes by Stephen A Schwarzman
  • Startup CEO by Matt Blumberg (Audible)
  • What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz
  • Zero to One - Notes on startups or how to build the future by Peter Thiel
  • How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith
  • Little Black Stretchy Pants (The Story of Lululemon) by Chip Wilson
  • Entrepreneur by Mads Faurholt
  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek

The workout routines


Whether at home or during the once-a-day dose of the outdoors, we're keeping our bodies moving and our minds sane with these go-tos:

  • The wake up workout – Founder and COO Anna is turning to Boho Beautiful for free Yoga classes, Comms Manager Marilyne opts for a sunny window spot to get some vitamin D while she stretches and Copywriter Jess turns to her favourite teachers like Erin Prichard and Darvina Plante who are now all teaching online Yoga classes. Operations Officer, Emily, on the other hand is opting for Barry’s Bootcamp to get her day started. One for the morning people maybe.
  • The competitive lunch hour – Art Director Leesa suggests alternating 30 minutes of cardio in the park with weight workouts at home; “If you don't have weights at home, body weight is still good or order bands! I work out with my husband sometimes as well which gets competitive, but that just makes it fun!”
  • The ‘dog is saving my life’ walk – Animals are pros at offering some sanity and a number of the Hedoine team are dog owners which helps with an excuse (and motivation) for a walk around the park. Top tip: Offer to walk a neighbour’s dog if you don’t have one (there might be a queue though)
  • The after work party – Resident salsa teacher (and Customer Love hero) Luise has been stretching muscles and getting her boyfriend to teach her the lead salsa moves to end the day. One for those missing after-work cocktail hour trips.

The ultimate podcast list


Whether we’re playing podcasts in the background while we work, listening over lunch in the garden or keep brains buzzing over the weekends – this is our ultimate podcast list:

  • UnF*ck Your Brain
  • Cruel & Unusual Nourishment
  • The Office Ladies
  • Fortunately… with Fi & Jane
  • The High Low
  • The Archers
  • How I Built This
  • Freakonomics
  • Gimlet Startup Podcast
  • Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • Startup Therapy
  • The Future of Fashion Business
  • TED Talks Daily
  • Masters of Scale
  • Reply All
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • HBR Ideacast
  • How I Found My Voice
  • In the Limelight (Vanity Fair)
  • Innovators by Liz Bacelar and Rachel Arthur
  • Wardrobe Crisis

The new social life


Ok so you can’t meet up, but even interacting with people over video calls can seriously boost your mood, especially if you’re on your own. Here are some ways we’re keeping in touch:

  • Sharing a bottle - Art Director Leesa has been ordering the same bottle of wine as friends from their local suppliers and drinking them together with dinner via video calls - a great way to stay sane and support some local businesses.
  • Pub quiz - Operations Officer, Emily, has done several virtual pub quizzes with friends and is finding it
  • Gaming - Communications Manager Marilyne has started building an online Monopoly empire while Customer Care Exec Luise’s boyfriend has introduced her to the world of online gaming for a bit of escapism.

The new way to eat out


Panic buying has been the activity of the year (*rolls eyes*). So with supermarket shelves stripped to their bare minimums and a reluctance to leave the house, it’s time to think creatively:

  • Grocery deliveries - Companies like Crosstown doughnuts have been getting creative and offering essential grocery deliveries. It’s worth checking out your local businesses to see who has been doing the same.
  • Veg boxes - There are plenty of these on offer so you can keep your vitamin intake high - check out New Covent Garden Market’s list of suppliers or search for a local service.
  • A weekend treat - Make the weekend feel special with a local takeaway delivery to support those that are still open or order a special platter – Grape & Fig have some great ones to offer and they’re also delivering platters to vulnerable people who might not be able to get a treat otherwise. Art Director Leesa has been pairing platters with wine for a weekend treat, while CPO Valeria has a new obsession for Yogland’s protein cookies.


Who says you need to leave the house to have an adventure? We’re taking some time to explore, upskill and have some fun. Inspiration this way:

  • Learn a new language - like Luise our Customer Love Exec who is brushing up her French skills. There are online classes and apps aplenty for this.
  • Turn terrible cooking around - take inspiration from Co-founder and CEO Alex who’s been forced to start cooking during isolation, or Copywriter Jess who’s decided that if she wants cake, she’s going to have to learn to bake it. We’re not sure if either will come out the other side ready for MasterChef but it’s worth a try.
  • Find your rhythm – If you’re missing your Saturday nights on the dancefloor, try busting the moves at home. We’re loving The Showbiz Clinic with Broadway choreographer Xena Gustharts – a Dance Fit class that will bring a big smile to your face. The Royal Academy of Dance are also offering online dance classes and even dance-offs. So we’ll be coming out of quarantine with some serious moves. Maybe.
  • Discover your green fingers – Ok, so you may have killed every house plant you ever owned but maybe you were too busy to pay any real attention. CMO Leonie has found her feet in the garden digging and planting like a trooper. “It’s so rewarding because I know I will see the fruits of my labour - literally.” She recommends heading to Trouva or local grocery shops for seeds as many online garden centres are already sold out...
  • Get inspired – Founder and CEO, Alex, is making sure to keep inspiration flowing by signing up to MasterClass where you can listen to a whole range of experts in their field give invaluable advice wherever your interest lies.

    Above all, keep washing your hands, stay at home and stay safe!

    Team Hēdoïne x

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