A Blog by Lunebase
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!

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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.

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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

Re-emerging with resilience

As Forrest Gump once said:
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

After all, like a neatly wrapped box of treats, life is a gift. At some point along the way things are bound to go in your favour, like picking up a soft truffle or caramel barrel.

However, what’s also guaranteed in life is that we will all, at some point, encounter adversity, tragedy and other significant sources of stress – just like that surprise Turkish delight.

Adapting well in the face of life’s challenges is what psychologists call ‘resilience’.

By becoming more resilient, you’ll not only be better prepared to deal with difficult circumstances when they some your way, you’ll also be empowered to grow and improve your life when things aren’t going so bad.

The global pandemic has brought with it its own share of traumas, from the universal to the intensely personal.

As we slowly emerge out of lockdown and other hardships brought on by COVID-19, it’s worth thinking about how resilient we’ve been, and how we can take this resilience with us into the future.

By focusing on the four core components of resilience (connection, wellness, healthy thinking, and meaning), you can learn to not only withstand difficult and traumatic experiences, but use them as fuel for your own growth and learning — especially important as we return to a ‘semblance of normality’.

Try some of these strategies from the American Psychological Association to increase your capacity for resilience…

…and maybe those Turkish Delights won’t taste so bad after all 🍫

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

Staying on top of the lockdown blues

If you feel as though your mental health is suffering during lockdown, you’re not alone. 1 in 5 UK adults profess to experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of depression. This is almost double the amount of adults who said the same pre-lockdown.

(Source: https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/news-item/what-impact-has-covid-19-had-on-mental-health-services)

While most of our favourite activities and destinations remain closed, and little in the way of plans to look forward to, it can feel like this lockdown is never going to end.

We’ve put together some top tips to help build your resilience, and maintain better moods during lockdown:

Remember it’s OK to feel this way – We should feel proud of the measures we’re taking to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. But it’s important to remember that just because we have a good reason to, doesn’t make it easy. Low mood, low energy and loss of interests are all common symptoms of lockdown.

  1. Remember it’s OK to feel this way – We should feel proud of the measures we’re taking to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. But it’s important to remember that just because we have a good reason to, doesn’t make it easy. Low mood, low energy and loss of interests are all common symptoms of lockdown.
  2. Don’t compare yourself with others – Everyone is facing a different set of challenges that will affect us in a unique way. While social media can be a useful tool to stay connected, be sure to monitor your time spent on apps, as comparison effects can lead to negative mental health.
  3. Go back to basics – Sleep and exercise have a profound impact on our mental health, but these are often the first things we neglect when we are not feeling so good. Neuroscientist Matthew Walker describes sleep as our superpower, and exercise can help aid healthy sleep. Why not organise an online group workout with friends?
  4. Set a new goal or target Whether as big as learning a new language, or something as small as trying out a new recipe for dinner one night, or taking a daily walk to somewhere new. Whether big or small, stepping outside your comfort zone will give you focus and a sense of control. For many people, this can be massively helpful for their mental state.
  5. Do it badly – Optimists live longer, have better relationships and better immune systems, says Olivia Remes of Cambridge University. The good news is you can cultivate optimism: Her number one tip is the principle of “do it badly”. In other words, don’t wait to do things perfectly, at the right time on the right day. Just do it!
  6. Be kind to yourself – It’s easy to think that your problems are small compared to what other people are going through. This shouldn’t invalidate any of your own feelings. If you think you need help, seek it out with someone you trust.
  7. How to help if someone else is struggling? – As part of our support networks, someone may eventually reach out to you for advice. They won’t expect you to have all the answers, and you shouldn’t expect that of yourself either. Try listening non-judgmentally, validate their feelings, and let them know they matter to you.

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 🤓