Long time, no see

Many of us have family and loved ones who are overseas – working, emigrated or part of a global, multi-national family. I guess we’re starting to wonder when we might see them again. Some experts are saying that it maybe 12-28 months before many borders are re-opened and safe for overseas travel. Maybe it just simply won’t be the same again; no more just hopping on a plane and jetting off at the drop of a hat.

It’s hard to think that many wonderful occasions like big birthday’s, weddings, engagements and Christenings will have to have a few absent friends missing from the table. All of a sudden, the world has become a much bigger and more dangerous place. It feels almost like we’re about to take a step back 50-60 years when foreign travel was less common, more expensive and not so easy to do. Now that’s real social distance! Perhaps it’s something we’ll all have to get used to?

Absence does make the heart grow fonder and we should all think about our loved ones overseas and hope they stay safe and well. Reunions can wait. Until then, why not keep in touch daily… there’s a Moment for every moment. So, there’s no need to feel apart, even if you are.

Coping Alone

Be Momentful’s own in-house psychologist, Louise, helps bring some perspective to what we might be experiencing during lockdown.

“The idea of taking an extended ‘stay at home’ break might have sounded a pretty easy touch to some: a bit of a break from the normal hectic routine; going to work in your pyjamas! But in reality, we are now scrambling to make sense of this unparalleled interruption to our ideas about work / home / productivity / leisure / socialising.

Living with the absence of social interaction is the main and unexpected feature of our new Covid-19 lockdown. Why’s that a big deal? Because we humans are social beings. We require social interactions, both positive and negative, to find our way through our social and work environments. These interactions boost our mental health and provide feelings of worth and belonging. Without these, we risk falling into depression, anxiety and paranoia.

Individuals who now find themselves in social isolation, particularly those who are living alone, are in danger of developing anxiety, paranoia and a reduced tolerance to small stress factors i.e. inability to cope. Early signs such as disrupted sleep patterns, increased napping and lack of motivation or goals may appear. So, as we face a prolonged period of social isolation ahead of us – we should all introduce as many tactics into our daily routine to stave off these effects. For example:

– Make the most of your daily exercise, and make sure you try and spend that time outdoors whenever possible (whilst following social distancing guidelines). Breathe the fresh air. See the Spring appearing around us bringing new life.

– Take time to appreciate what you do have; sit and unwind from the small stresses that build-up with the increased uncertainty that we are currently facing. Remember. We’re all in the same boat. We will be fine if we stick together.

– Finally, whilst social media isn’t always your best friend, in times like this it is an ideal outlet to give you a dose of social interaction needed to keep you going. Just don’t believe half of what you hear! But most of all: connect everyday with your family, friends, and loved ones. One small message will make a world of difference and stop us feeling as if we are alone.”

Stay safe, stay positive and keep sending folks

Where’s your head at?

A very good question once posed by electro-funksters, Basement Jaxx. Thanks guys.

Just as spring edges its way over the murky winter horizon, and our brains, bodies and souls are waking from hibernation, we find ourselves into an extended, enforced isolation. New territory for us all. Some of us might be bouncing of all for walls with vigour and get-go; some of us will feel like we’ve got a hangover. Many of us will be nursing the effects, partially or totally, of a bout of Covid-19.

Spring is supposed to be the starting pistol for all things fresh, new and vibrant. The air smells different, the sun bursts into our days earlier and lingers longer on our skin. There’s an outbreak of new life excitement all around us – births, colour, growth! Yikes!

There will be some of us who feel the energy, but others who aren’t so lucky. For those of you positively bounding into Spring and keeping it all together, keep an eye out for the folks who might have less bounce in their step. They might need a transfusion of your energy to help get their heads in the right place.

No-one asked for this pandemic; no-one wants to be in this position – but we are where we are, and we all have to help each other get through it.

Why not send a Spring inspired Moment to keep things on track.

We’ll meet again

“’In these uncertain times, I am taken back to my time during World War Two, when we all pulled together and looked after each other. It is this spirit that we all need to find again to weather the storm of the coronavirus (COVID-19).”

These are the words from wartime singer, Dame Vera Lynn, now 102, who rose to fame in 1939 singing “We’ll Meet Again” to the British troops stationed abroad during World War II.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, and wholeheartedly recommend giving the track a good listen during these difficult and worrying times…

“Keep smiling through,
Just like you always do,
‘Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away”

We'll Meet Again

Here are a selection of Moments to send to anyone you feel might need a bit of sparkle bringing to their day.

You’re a star!

It’s Employee Appreciation Day and our very own Steve at Be Momentful helps companies to improve employee wellbeing in the workplace through using the app. Here’s his take on the importance of appreciation and recognition at work.

“Saying ‘thank you’. It’s such a simple gesture. Often forgotten. Sometimes neglected. Always appreciated. Always important. Great that there is now an official day for Employee Appreciation- BUT JUST THE ONE!?

We’ve all been there at one time or another. We’ve taken one for the team. We’ve gone above and beyond. We’ve cancelled plans and worked until late. We’ve swapped shifts at no-notice and we’ve offered our emotional support…for free! That’s because we’re caring, sharing people: a credit to our managers and our companies. Ideally, we would expect a bone of gratitude thrown back our way, right? Erm…sadly that’s not always the case. Come on, admit it – we’ve all been guilty of occasionally forgetting to show our appreciation as well as not receiving it.

So, when did saying ‘thank you’ get so damned challenging? Did we run out of new ways to say it, so assumed it was best just to give up entirely? Are we that busy we don’t have the time these days? Better things to do? Or maybe we’re worried that an email or instant message saying ‘thanks’ (emoji thumbs-up) just isn’t enough anymore? Seems like saying the right thing; in the right way; at the right time: a is becoming a dying art.

That’s a shame. Because we really can’t place a monetary value on that warm, fuzzy feeling that we get whenever someone reaches out with a personal touch and extends their gratitude. It’s a beautiful, human emotion that from a work perspective, can make all the difference between an ‘ok’ day, and a great day. Or turn a stressful one, to a worthwhile one.

Can’t argue, right? So, let’s all try harder to spread some smiles around our workplaces.”

If you’d like to know how Be Momentful can boost employee wellbeing in your workplace contact Steve (ask@1616.media) or just send a deserving colleague one of these Moments.

Flower power

All this month, with the transition from dark winter to lighter spring on the way, we’re going to celebrate the irresistible power of flowers 
Smells, colours, symbols, decorations, gifts interior design, fashion – the power of flowers is versatile and inspiring. No more so than the healing power of flowers.

Some of us may already embrace complimentary therapies which use flower remedies to treat chronic illness and conditions but most of us are blissfully aware that many common-or-garden flowers have proven healing properties. Jasmin, Cornflower, Yarrow, Chamomile, Lavender, Hibiscus and even the humble Marigold: all have traditional healing properties for a wide-ranging set of ailments such as high blood pressure, burns, digestion, immunity, gout, headaches, constipation and menstrual pain. 

Flowers are nature’s gift to us. They brighten our lives, shift and change our moods, envelope us with every kind of scent, turn our houses into homes and even heal our wounds.

Use our flower Moments to send someone a tonic for their mind and health.

We love stuff

We can’t help ourselves.  Everyone has a penchant for collecting some object of desire – usual culprits include shoes, bags and watches. The more affluent (show-offs) amongst us may extend this to cars, houses, works of art and race-horses. Other obscure collections can be more geeky like sporting memorabilia, celebrity artefacts, tattoos and records. Nothing wrong in that –one might say. Everyone is entitled to a bit of healthy self-indulgence and if we’ve earned it – like the tv ad says – “we’re worth it!”. For some it’s about displaying prestige; for others it’s an investment; many hoard to fill a gap in their neediness.

All well and good, but it’s when it all gets a bit too obsessional or irrational, that we might need to worry. Logically speaking no-one needs several hundreds of pairs of shoes. And a bag, is a bag, is a bag. And it doesn’t matter HOW MANY you own – there is never one where everything fits in!?? What about when you’ve tattooed every inch of your body? Start on the inside!? WTF?

If you know someone with a bit of a stuff habit, try to gently hint that they might be better using their energies (and money) in spending more time with you. Send one of these Moments. If that fails, tell them you have a second-hand Hermes Ostrich bag you found in a charity shop for £10! That’ll get them round for tea!

Love is….

There are over a thousand pop songs with “love” in the title… with many artists trying to define the very essence of love. So, this Valentine’s Day we can think of no better way than to surrender ourselves to the contemporary bards of our times to help us truly understand the true expression of love….

Love is kind / Love is blind
Love is a question mark / Love is the answer
Love is in the air / Love is like oxygen
Love is a stranger / Love is the drug
Love is on our side / Love is a battlefield
Love is a silent thief / Love is the law
Love is the key / Love is a losing game
Love is like an itching in my heart (hmm..)
Love is thicker than water (eww!)
Love is a bourgeois construct (eh?)
Love is a laserquest (???)

Confused? Don’t be; love is whatever you want it to be… no label required. Or songs for that matter.
Use any of these Valentine’s Moments and express yourself to someone you love.

And the Winner Is…

Hot on the heels of last week’s BAFTAs comes the glamour-fest of them all – the Oscars. A night traditionally renowned for the beautiful people to back-slap and out-frock each other all the way up the red carpet; swiftly followed by extravagant after-parties that we all gawp at from the (dis)comfort of our IKEA sofas. However, more recently, the occasion has become more associated with bitter controversy and criticism: elitism, racism, sexism, you-name-it-ism. Maybe it’s just a jolly for the privileged that has had its day? Get woke, Hollywood!

Perhaps we should be looking closer to home for the real stars of the firmament who truly deserve the awards and recognition? There are so many people who we may think of as playing a major role in this long-running production we call life. Who, for example, might you nominate as playing a leading role in your life? (Please say it’s your significant other, for pity’s sake!) Who would get the award for the best supporting role? Your mum, dad or bestie? Who deserves the accolade for giving you direction? And any newcomers recently arrived on the scene that you have had your eye on? 😉

When we think about it, it takes a huge cast and a tremendous production to get one little human through life. Most of us don’t do it for the accolades or the gongs (although a few of those to prop open the odd door might be nice). So, this Sunday, instead of enviously staying up late to ogle the gorgeous and the talented, perhaps spend some time reaching out to those twinkling stars that have made you the special talent you are. Choose any of these Moments and deliver them a thrill as big as hearing… “and the winner is…..”

7 February, 2020.

The Honeymoon Period for Resolutions is Over!

January is the month of good intentions. Many of us vow to make positive changes and or start new diets or exercise regimes. And that’s to be congratulated!

January sees a 42% increase in gym memberships and a boost in internet searches around the latest fad diets. Whether it’s keto, 5:2, weight watchers, slimming world, sugar-free or meat-free, everyone’s just trying to find a way that works for them to achieve a healthier body and mind.

You might be one of the lucky ones who doesn’t need to embark on a weight loss mission or make any drastic changes. Or maybe you don’t buy-in to any of it at all? But you will probably know someone who does. You know the formula: we take a shot of motivation in early January, we team up with gym buddies and mutually congratulate ourselves with “likes” when how many miles have been run that day is posted, or how many pounds have been lost.

And then the big cloud in the sky rolls in; the killer blow for many diets and resolutions. Tomorrow – it’s February!!!

At this point 95% of diets fail. The good intentions start to lose their mojo. It feels like we’re denying ourselves the food we love. Progress is not as good as hoped, and the Sunday morning runs now have to be undertaken alone. The inspiring words from bored loved ones also dries up – just at a time when they are most needed.

Don’t let motivational lethargy kick in. Make a special effort to keep spurring those in need on – you may just be instrumental to their success!

Continue to help motivate your friends and loved one(s) to accomplish their goals by sending them one of our inspiring moments.

31 January, 2020.