As we are approaching the end of the year, workplace wellbeing and awareness are our focus for this month.
We look at the Danish concept of Hygge, bring awareness to the Movember movement, and discuss the journey of menopause with compassion in the workplace.
Remember, it's okay to take a step back from the busy times and embrace the little things that bring peace and joy into your life with yourself and with others.
To help you achieve this I have enclosed some acupressure points at the bottom of this blog to help your memory, concentration and bring calmness to your life so to uplift your mood.
Hygge, a Danish Concept
A Danish and Norwegian word that is pronounced 'hooga' is used to describe a quality of cosiness and comfort. Finding a feeling of contentment or wellbeing in life's simple pleasures, especially in the colder months.
Regarded as defining the characteristics of the Danish culture, it is now being increasingly embraced worldwide (Children know of it thanks to the cartoon "Frozen").
Although in the UK, we may refer to this term as our winter warming and cosy nights in, the concept of Hygge is the same. Creating an atmosphere of warmth and coziness. Wrapping up in a blanket with cosy PJ's chilling out in comfort at home, sharing a meal with family and friends, whatever it is that brings you the simple pleasure, bringing a sense of wellbeing for you.
The Oxford dictionary definition of 'wellbeing' is a state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. We can create this state throughout all areas of our life, not just at home.
Hygge is also about sharing this feeling with others, friends, family and even colleagues. Why not bring Hygge to your workplace and create this positive feeling of contentment within your co-workers, make time for sharing a lunch break and take some time away from the office, a nice shared walk or find a cosy coffee shop.
Whatever Hygge means to you, be sure to make time for this important self-care and embrace the feeling.
'Denmark continuously ranks among the world's happiest countries. Does hygge deserve some of the credit for that happiness?'
Men's wellbeing - Supporting the Movember Movement
Movember is more than just growing moustaches—it's an international movement that raises awareness by encouraging an open conversation about prostate and testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention.
This movement has made a substantial impact over the past few years. It has funded research projects, delivered mental health programs, and provided support to those affected by cancer.
Movember is not only for men; it's for everyone who cares about men's health. Participants of Movember register, affectionately known as "Mobros" and "Mosistas" and then embark on the month-long journey of growing and grooming their moustaches or supporting the efforts of those who do.
The moustache becomes a powerful conversation starter, allowing participants to raise awareness about the often-overlooked health issues that men face.
Here are some good to read articles for you.
7 Vital Steps to Growing a Moustache - A reminder of the importance of proactive health management, early detection, and the power of collective action. It's not just about facial hair; it's about changing the face of men's health.
20 Ways to bring in donations - Participation goes a long way in raising awareness and funds for essential men's health initiatives.
Movember helpline - Get support
About Movember - More about men's health
Menopause in the workplace - raising awareness and removing the Stigma
Menopause is an inherent stage in a woman's journey, accompanied by physical and emotional transformations that can be demanding, impacting both home and work life.
Last month, on the 18th of October, marked the World Menopause Day 2023. This annual event aims to break the stigmas and shed light on the support systems accessible to enhance the health and wellbeing of those navigating through menopause. Like mental health, this subject needs to be openly talked about and awareness raised in the workplace.
Did you know?
Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) showed that:
women aged 50 and over are the fastest growing group in the workforce; the average age for menopause transition is 51
three out of five working women aged between 45 and 55 who are experiencing menopause symptoms say it has a negative impact on them at work
more than half of this group said they experienced more stress
nearly a third of women have taken sick leave due to their symptoms, but only a quarter told managers the real reason why.
The impact on productivity and wellbeing should not be underestimated. However, there are steps that employers and colleagues can take to create a more understanding and accommodating workplace:
Raise Awareness: The first step in changing perceptions is to raise awareness. Educate employees about what menopause is and the physical and emotional challenges it can bring. This helps break down stereotypes and misconceptions.
Open Communication: Encourage open conversations about menopause in the workplace. Create a safe space where employees can discuss their experiences and seek support if needed.
Flexible Work Arrangements: Talk to your line manager, or if you are a line manager, consider talking to HR or the relevant person to discuss flexible work arrangements to accommodate menopausal symptoms. This could include adjusting work hours, providing access to quiet and cool spaces, or allowing for remote work when appropriate.
Training and Sensitivity Workshops:
Provide training and workshops on menopause for managers and colleagues. This helps them understand the challenges and learn how to provide support.
Wellbeing Programs: Implement wellness programs that address menopausal health. This could involve providing resources on nutrition, stress management, and exercise, which can all help alleviate symptoms.
Policy Updates: Talk to your line manager, or if you are a line manager, consider talking to HR or the relevant person to discuss a review and adapt company policies to include menopause as a consideration in workplace accommodations, similar to accommodations made for other life events.
Support Networks: Establish support networks or employee resource groups for those going through menopause. These groups can provide a sense of community and mutual support.
"Women's Health Concern Charity" says:
'Up to a third of women will experience severe menopausal symptoms that can impact on their quality of life. It is in the work context that women often report greater difficulty in managing symptoms and can feel embarrassed and unable to disclose their menopausal status, fearing they may be stigmatised for being menopausal.
Changing the perception of menopause in the workplace is a collective effort that benefits not only those experiencing menopause but the organisation as a whole. It offers a more inclusive and compassionate work environment, contributing to employee wellbeing and productivity.
The most commonly reported difficulties that menopausal women report at work include poor concentration, tiredness, poor memory, feeling low/depressed and lowered confidence. Problematic hot flushes at work have also been linked to women having a higher intention to leave the workforce.
Employers are being encouraged to offer awareness and support to this population of employees and British Menopause Society has brought together resources to help both employers and employees.' Read the full article here
Good to read:
DIY Acupressure Massages
Wellbeing at your fingertips
TIPs to Alleviate Aches and Pains
FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION
EXTRA ACUPRESSURE POINT Third Eye Point / Seal Hall or Yintang - EX-2
This point is located between your eyebrows where your forehead and nose's bridge meet, hence the name third eye. Massage this point with one-two fingers for 3-4 minutes. To get the best results, try and do this 2-3 times per day. Aside from increasing your focus and memory, it will also bring a calm and uplifting feeling.
CONCEPTION VESSEL (REN MAI) Sea of Tranquillity, Chest Centre or Tanzhong - CV-17 (REN-17)
With brain fog and the inability to focus can also come related struggles of anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, and/or depression. All are perfect examples of emotional imbalances that negatively affect your ability to concentrate and be productive. Stimulate this point located on your breastbone's centre, about three thumbs width above the bone's base where you will feel an indentation. Your clarity of thought, memory, and focus should all improve with continued stimulation.
STRESS AND ANXIETY
Do you feel like you have a creative block? GOVERNING VESSEL (DU MAI)
Place of One Hundred Meetings or Bai Hui - GV20 (DU20)
Place a finger on the top of each ear and run your fingers up the sides of your head until they meet at the top of your head. Apply gentle pressure to this meeting point and massage for 1-2 minutes. This acupressure point brings mental awareness and clarity, by stimulating it you will raise your body's emotional energies.
Spirit Gate or Shen Men
Find the top cartilages of your ear and then slide your finger down into the triangle-like hollow just below. The tip of that hollow is your heavenly gate point. Apply firm but gentle pressure in a circular motion for about two minutes.
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