Masawa Minute 24
Why you should waste some hours everyday | Play more Nintendo! | + More!
This is the Masawa Minute — mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing snippets from what we’ve read the last two weeks + where you can get active.
November is coming to an end (where did the time go?) and a lot of things are happening — we’re facing the holiday craze, end-of-the-year planning and tasks, an array of must-attend events. We know this season often is a difficult time, so this Masawa Minute is about just that — how to stay sane till the end of the year. Cheers!
We already couldn’t help but mention it yesterday and now we’re mentioning it again — less than two weeks to go till our first game show event!
Save the date
It will take place on December 8th, 5.30–6.00pm CET (Berlin), 8–9.30am PST (Los Angeles).
What’s going to happen?
We’ll be injecting humor and levity into the normally serious topics of mental health and workplace wellbeing through games with 5 world class contestants from around the globe.
How can I register and find out more?
If you’d like to know more about the purpose of this event, the contestants and their superpowers and get a ticket to what’s definitely going to be the game show of the year (note that we didn’t say “the best game show”), visit our website where you’ll find all this and more. There are only 200 tickets available, so hurry up
What we’re reading…
☕️ Why you should embrace being unproductive
Do you sometimes look back to your day and feel annoyed that you haven’t achieved anything? If so, this is for you — research suggests that the “unproductive” activities we engage in can be really useful. They can help you become better at solving problems, be more collaborative and more likely to persevere when faced with a challenge. They can make you more resilient.
How, you ask? Stepping away from your laptop contributes to physical resilience, as a sedentary lifestyle is the number one enemy of endurance. Going through a pointless but somewhat challenging task like snapping your fingers 50 times is scientifically proven to improve focus and determination, enhancing your mental resilience. Doing whatever makes you feel good — like spending slightly too much time looking at videos of cute animals — fills you with positive emotion. Three positive emotions for every negative one are recommended to experience during the day to build emotional resilience.
Therefore, we should redefine what productivity means to us. Those small, seemingly meaningless actions that we feel guilty over are actually an essential part of self-improvement. So make it a point to waste at least an hour of your day, starting now!
Building Resilience by Wasting Time
🎄 How to stay mentally well during the holidays
Holidays can always be tough, but this year they’re likely to be even more difficult because of all the stress and limitations we’re experiencing. Psychology Today offers some tips for coping when pandemic and holiday stress collide.
One of the ten tips is investing in wellness. Even this year, we can be consumed with appointments and obligations that take up a decent amount of time and pile on top of the stress we’re already experiencing. Not to mention the pressure to politely navigate safety and socializing. To be able to cope with this and support others, self-care is essential — investing in your own wellbeing will help you show up more effectively, be more present and healthy.
It doesn’t have to be anything major — even taking 20 minutes to exercise, take a short walk, doing a couple of breathing exercises can go a long way. Consider what has made you feel good in the past and make some time for it now, no matter how pressing your schedule seems. Open the article for more tips to stay more mentally well during these times and forward it to anyone who can use them.
When Holiday and Pandemic Stress Collide
😴 Sleep vs work: which one should you choose?
As is the case with many things in life, we appreciate sleep the most when we can’t have it. Unfortunately, lack of sleep affects many of us — statistics reveal that 30–40% of people experience sleep problems and over 100 million people in Europe and the US suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. That has a horrible effect on mental health.
During sleep, the brain regenerates and eliminates “mental wastage” — toxins built up between the neurons throughout the day. When this doesn’t happen, the ability to retain information (both short term and long term) is significantly impaired, people become more prone to aggression and anxiety, and their relationships are put at risk.
However, we live in a culture where people often believe that less sleep makes them more successful, productive and overall superior — that’s never the case in the longer term. So whenever you have a choice, block off your calendar and choose an extra hour of uninterrupted sleep — your sharper, healthier, happier brain will thank you.
Why You Should Choose Sleep Over Work
👫 Getting used to life without physical contact
Almost six months ago, the New York Times interviewed several hundred epidemiologists and infectious disease experts. While many said that shaking hands is something they avoid under normal circumstances, others stated they wouldn’t be comfortable touching someone until up to a year has passed. How are we affected by being forced to reduce physical contact for so long and how can we help ourselves go through it?
Some people say lack of touch makes them disconnected from understanding how they feel physically, others feel cranky and restless. Dr. Tiffany Field, an expert in developmental psychology, suggests that a good way of reducing those feelings is moving the skin in ways that engage the pressure receptors, like scrubbing, using a weighted blanket or even rolling around on the floor. Touching different textures also helps — one of the secrets mentioned by Dr. Anita Bright, a professor at Portland State University, was high-fiving a tree whenever she went for a walk.
With the social distancing fatigue and no contact taking a toll on the mental health of many, it’s getting more and more difficult to navigate touch boundaries. It’s crucial to find a balance between maximizing safety and taking care of your mental wellbeing — making sure you’re doing what feels right in a responsible way.
What All That Touch Deprivation Is Doing to Us
🕹 Get yourself a Nintendo for Christmas — it’s good for your mental health
Good news for all the video game lovers out there – a new Oxford studyreported that playing video games positively correlates with improved wellbeing. In one of the first studies to use real gameplay data, the researchers linked psychological questionnaires with actual records of time spent playing games rather than self-reported ones, which tend to be highly inaccurate.
While the research only applies to “Animal Crossing” and “Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville” (sorry, those who are into more violent games), the findings are exciting. The researchers looked at subjective mental health, feelings of autonomy, competence and enjoyment in relation to wellbeing, neither of which has been analyzed before. Also, contrary to what video game opponents suggest, a player’s subjective experiences might be a bigger factor for wellbeing than the time spent playing the game. So pick a game that you really enjoy and have fun — no one can hold self-care against you.
Groundbreaking new study says time spent playing video games can be good for your well being
✨ Masawa Thoughts
Unproductiveness is the devil! Or wait, is it? Can we allow ourselves to have a few unproductive days? It’s hard. Productivity is too often seen as the gold standard, when in actuality, value creation is the goal.
Apropos seeing things in a different light, here are a few other things we’re shining new lights on:
- Mental wellness, the state in which a person realizes their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community (WHO definition), is not just a health issue. It’s an intersectional issue with connections to all societal challenges. For example, accelerated climate change, social injustice, and economic inequality are all caused by humans. These humans — to some extent, simplistically — use consumption, greed, power as ways to cover up more basic needs like those of safety, connection, relevance.
- To achieve universal mental wellness, we must take a systems-thinking approach and not become too caught up with existing sector frameworks. For example, the current financial system is mismatched with the complex adaptive system in which we actually live. There is a need to move to a more transformation-focused system that considers not only investments in isolation, but rather considers the ecosystemic effect on and role of non-financial actors (policy makers, civil society, media).
- We need to remember our humanness, one where fun + laughter is an evolutionary advantage, part of building bonds and shared experiences. Mental health, impact investing, and social change are so often handled as sullen or emotionless topics. But injecting a bit of humor can help to remind us that we’re just humans and that it’s going to be all alright. Yet another reason to sign up for and attend Maswaa’s #mindgames Mental Health Gameshow (masawa.fund/mindgames)! ♥ the shameless plugs…
💭 In Closing
Like the Masawa Minute? Show your support by sharing it with someone else or tell us what you think! Or both.
Give someone a big [virtual] hug today + take care of each other! 🤗😘
Gabija works as a Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Masawa. She lets her vision of a more just, sustainable, equitable world guide Masawa’s story and inform the work towards transforming global mental wellness to make it accessible and accepted.