There’s no doubt that the stuck-at-home nature of being locked down impacts our mental stability. The isolation boredom is almost unbearable for many, even those with family and friends around them 24/7. 

Boredom is looked at as a negative feeling, people simply don’t want to be bored. And over the last year or so we’ve done everything to combat that feeling. We’ve binge watched more box sets than ever, 85 million of us watched the first episode of Bridgerton on Netflix on the day of release. We’ve cooked and cleaned. Had countless Zoom calls, scrolled Tik Tok, checked out Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, in fact anything to combat those feelings of boredom. 

That boredom has driven us UK shoppers to go all tap happy in lockdown, as new research reveals we are spending £1.26bn every week on doom shopping to help boost our mood.

It’s not even about the stuff I buy….when the package arrives it’s such a rush.”

Sophie – Bridgend

The new study from leading savings site, VoucherCodes.co.uk, highlights that online shopping is giving us an escape from the monotony of lockdown, helping to improve happiness when packages arrive. Excluding supermarket spend, the average Brit splurges £49 a week online – with almost half (47%) admitting to shopping purely to give themselves something to look forward to and 21% admitting that getting deliveries brings them joy.

Additionally, over two in five (42%) buy things they want rather than need because it makes them feel happy, while 11% say it gives them a rush of adrenaline. Plus, 16% even go as far as saying that they think splashing the cash improves their mental health. Those in Leeds are most likely to report an improvement in their mental wellbeing after a spot of online retail therapy, followed by shoppers in the capital.

Here in Wales, we are spending £236 every month on online shopping (excluding food shops) to help boost our mood during lockdown. 

The figures from VoucherCodes include:

  • Over half (55%) say they do so just to have something to look forward to, meaning the total spend in pursuit of happiness equates to £740 million.
  • Scottish shoppers are spending an average £59.08 per week on online orders (excluding supermarket shops) 
  • Millennials are splashing the most cash, spending £256 per month 
  • 13% of people from Wales think lockdown shopping habits improve their mental health 
  • Almost two in five have been encouraged to buy more things they don’t need in lockdown (37%) 
Top ten cities in which residents feel their mental health is improved by treating themselves: 

We spoke to Sophie in Bridgend who told us, this lockdown has been the hardest…….

“The days are just merging into each other, weekends are not weekends at all, they’re just another day. I used to love going out with my friends, having a coffee and catching up on the weeks news.

It was all a bit of a novelty at first, everybody coming together for the greater good and all that. But now me and my family are just feeling flat and low, and if I’m honest, just completely worn out by it all.”

“Shopping has been my go to thing. It’s not even about the stuff I buy, it’s the thrill of finding it, getting an email to say it’s on it’s way, and when the package arrives it’s such a rush. That feeling doesn’t last long though, and then I’m back on the laptop ordering something else.”

But it’s not all about mood-boosting, it seems that boredom-busting is also a prime influence when it comes to online shopping, with almost a quarter of UK adults (23%) hitting virtual shop floors to while away some idle lockdown hours. Seeing items on social media (12%) and making the most of deals by using voucher codes (11%) are two other top reasons Brits are splashing the cash during lockdown.

Anita Naik is Lifestyle Editor at VoucherCodes.co.uk, she told us…

“Lockdown is, unsurprisingly, taking its toll. While many are struggling financially, others may find that they have more disposable income than normal due to lack of commuter costs, and not being able to go out to shops, restaurants and other attractions.

So, it’s interesting to see from the research that many are turning to shopping to give them the happiness hits that are lacking in our daily lives at the moment – and in some cases are even feeling an improvement in mental health.”

Anita Naik

“Whilst it’s clear online shopping can help us feel happier and give us a much-needed boost, it’s important not to spend beyond your means. Finding the best deal will help keep your bank balance happy, so if you are shopping online, downloading a free browser extension such as DealFinder from VoucherCodes will help make sure you get the best price. It automatically finds and applies the best discount codes and is a quick and easy way to make sure you get the most out of your money.”

However, there are also some who feel a sense of guilt from the amount of shopping they do (18%) and over one in ten say it makes them worry about money (11%). Almost a third are also finding themselves more easily influenced into spending by social media during lockdown (30%).

Almost three quarters of Brits admit to spending more money online during lockdown than they normally would (73%). Millennials are revealed as the real big spenders, placing over two online orders a week on average, equating to £256 per month. Baby boomers, on the other hand, spend £146 per month, the lowest amount of any age group.

To find out more about VOUCHERCODES and see what deals they have on offer, go HERE.

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