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Spotlight

To mask, or not to mask? That is the question

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, countries around the have introduced laws forcing people to wear face masks and coverings in public places, and workplaces, in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

From the 19th July, Boris Johnson has confirmed that these mandatory requirements are to be halted in Englandand we will move from a “universal government diktat to relying on people’s personal responsibility”.

But what does this mean for commuters and busy workplaces up and down the country? What will be the new status quo? How might we enjoy thew3 new freedoms, whilst still respecting the wishes and concerns of others around the risk of transmission of Covid-19?

After all, vocal groups have been very strongly debating the pros and cons of compulsory mask-wearing for months prior to the new guidance. Which, in itself, introduces a lot more room for personal opinion into the debate.

Read on for our top-tips on how to avoid a social faux pas.

When to consider wearing a mask at work:

  • In any crowded, indoor workplace, or any indoor workplace where you work in very close proximity to other people
  • If you work around immunocompromised people, or people who live with those who are immunocompromised.
  • If anyone in your workplace makes a request for those around them to wear masks, or signals that the lack of mask-wearing is making them uncomfortable.
  • If any of your work colleagues are not fully vaccinated.

Above all, it’s best to respect everyone’s opinions and outlooks on mask-wearing, even if they don’t align with our own.

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Feel Good Story

Man with Alzheimer’s remarries wife after forgetting they’re married

A 56 year-old man from Connecticut has proven that his love for his wife is undying, even under the strain of neurological disorder like Alzheimer’s.

Lisa Marshall, wife and caretaker for Peter Marshall since his diagnosis in 2018, explained her own confusion and heartache at Peter’s young diagnosis: “I didn’t know anything about Alzheimer’s. It was something you get when you’re 80.”

Lisa began documenting their journey on the Oh Hello Alzheimer’s Facebook page.

In 2020, while watching a wedding scene on television, Peter pointed at the screen and asked Lisa if she’d like to marry him. ” He didn’t know that I’m his wife,” said Lisa. “I’m just his favorite person.”

On April 26 of this year, the couple renewed their vows in front of close friends and family. Lisa says there “wasn’t a dry eye in the house”, and she “hadn’t seen Peter that happy in a very long time.

“I just want to be open and honest and tell people what we’re experiencing, because you might too,” Lisa told Today.

If you or a family has been affected by Alzheimer’s or you’d like to learn more, visit the Alzheimer’s Society website for support, advice and information resources.

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Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

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Spotlight

The Power of Journaling

It’s the early 1990’s. Acid-wash denim and Bryan Adams are all the rage.

With fashion and music thriving, though, not all is well. A jump in oil prices and high interest rates trigger a recession across most Western economies.

Along with any recession comes job losses. And a group of 40 engineers who had been working for twenty years with their company found themselves unexpectedly laid-off.

As part of the redundancy, they were offered a support programme to help get them back to work. Amazingly, one of the randomly assigned interventions proved to more than double their chances of returning to full-time work within a few months.

What was the support, I hear you ask? A massive job-search workshop? Or some serious skills training? Wrong… it was, in fact, the simple process of the jobseekers keeping a daily journal of their thoughts and emotions.

Though it was painful at first to write about having the rug swept from underneath them, as time went on they were better able to process their journey. While the participants realised they had no control over being let go, journaling became a tool to help control their response.

And by controlling their response to the situation they found themselves in, they found they could control their actions to mould the future – including landing a new job.

With many of us having suffered our own career-based uncertainties and job losses since the beginning of 2020, journaling can be the powerful tool many need to navigate the uncertain waters. But it doesn’t stop there – the benefits of journaling can applied to any difficulty we face in day-to-day life.

The benefits don’t necessarily have to hinge on difficulties either. Journaling can be just as powerful a tool to help reflect on the positives that we might otherwise be overlooking.

Want to try it for yourself? We recommend The Five Minute Journal – though any old notebook will do!

Wellbeing Champions Newsletter

Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

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Feel Good Story

Boy sells his Pokémon card collection to save his puppy, receives rare gift in return

Eight year-old Bryson Killean, of Virginia, gained attention recently with a high-profile campaign to save his pet pup.

Bryson set up a GoFundMe in order to raise funds to treat his puppy, Bruce, from a highly contagious canine virus known as Parvo. Initially with a goal of $800, the campaign raised a staggering $5,000 in total.

Bryson also proved to be a real hero when, to the surprise of his family, he set up a curbside stall where he sold his beloved Pokémon card collection. Young pup Bruce underwent successful treatment for Parvo and is now reunited with Bryson and family at home – but the story doesn’t stop there.

The Pokémon Company got wind of Bryson’s heroic deeds, and made contact with Bryson to send him a pack of very rare Pokémon cards and a handwritten letter professing their admiration for his good deeds.

All the additional funds from Bryson’s GoFundMe and the sale of his cards are going towards future vaccinations for Bruce and other sick dogs in his community.

Now that Bryson and Bruce are healthy and reunited, I wonder if he’s up for swapping my shiny Charizard…

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Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

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Feel Good Story

British retiree becomes Twitter sensation through ‘Big Veg’ gardening

A lifelong gardener from Oxford has taken Twitter by storm for his incredible ‘big veg’, colourful outfits and all-round cheery outlook on life.

Gerald Stratford, 72, joined Twitter in early 2019, following some encouragement from his fellow gardeners, partner Elizabeth, and nephew Stephen.

Shortly into the first lockdown, Gerald’s incredibly-sized vegetables became a viral hit, with everything from his giant celery to crops of rocket leaves receiving thousands of comments, likes and retweets.

In fact, Gerald often seems to get as much love for his outfits as for his achievements in veg growing. In a recent tweet where he celebrated receiving his second COVID vaccination, many were quick to praise everything about Gerald’s outfit, from the cardigan to the veg-themed mask, and even the pins on his hat!

Gerald’s success isn’t just on the allotment, though, with his fame having led him to a collaborative project with Highsnobiety magazine for a new Gucci collection.

A prime example of doing what you love to find success… here’s to many more crops with Gerald 🌱

Wellbeing Champions Newsletter

Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

☕ Five-minute round-up. 🤐 No-spam ever. 👋 Unsubscribe at any time.
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Spotlight

Master your workstation

Whether working from home, hot-desking, or an office-desk devotee, you’ve probably encountered the three most common physical complaints related to spending endless hours at your desk.

You can avoid pains in the lower back, neck/shoulders, as well as headaches, by ensuring your desk setup is ‘ergonomically tailored’ (say that fast five times!) to you.

“How do I achieve that,” I hear you shout? “What are the top tips to take home?”

You needn’t have asked.

Read on for our top tips to master your workstation setup, brought to you by Jo Julien of Worklife Ergonomics.

  1. Adjust that chair – Your ideal setup should look like this: Feet flat on the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees 📐, hips bent at 90 degrees 📐, sat up straight so your elbows are slightly higher than your desk, six-pack tucked right up against the desk’s edge.

  2. Don’t just work on a laptop – A separate monitor is ideal, but if you are confined to a laptop, raise it on a stand or a pile of books so that the top of the screen is at eye level. Using a separate keyboard and mouse also prevents you hunching over and promotes good overall posture.

  3. Come closer my (keyboard) love – Bring your keyboard close to the edge of the desk. Your elbow should remain in line with your shoulder. Let your forearms do the work!

  4. Hustle when possible – Our backs like to move. Use triggers as reminders to stay active – how about stay standing everytime you’re on the phone, or encourage meetings are done walking. This can also go for Zoom meetings, if you have the right setup!

  5. Got comfort issues? – Tell your employer – they have a duty to help support you. Besides, it’s much easier to help earlier with any issues and nip them in the bud. Prevention is always better than cure.

Wellbeing Champions Newsletter

Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

☕ Five-minute round-up. 🤐 No-spam ever. 👋 Unsubscribe at any time.
Privacy policy for the fellow GDPR nerds 🤓