Author Archives: Admin

Build resilience into your business

Organisational resilience is ultimately about team members’ personal psychological resilience. But how do you build resilience into your business and its people? Find out more in mojow’s Resilience workshop with leading psychotherapist and expert in risk assessment John Murphy, who has over 20 years experience in mental health with NHS.

Resilience

Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes.

Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient, among them:

  • A positive attitude.
  • Optimism.
  • The ability to regulate emotions.
  • The ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.
  • At the heart of resilience is a belief in oneself—yet also a belief in something larger than oneself.

 

Resilient people do not let adversity define them. They find resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves by perceiving bad times as a temporary state of affairs.

Resilient people don’t walk between the raindrops; they have scars to show for their experience. They struggle—but keep functioning anyway. Resilience is not the ability to escape unharmed. It is not about magic.

And it’s definitely necessary to go back and reinterpret past events to find the strengths you have probably had within all along.

Here at MOJOW we’re big on integration and seeing the whole person

In our Bounce Back and Build Resilience workshop we will look at what you need in your Resilience survival kit:

 

What Goes Into Your Resiliency Kit?

If you choose to build resilience, what else might you do? Here are 10 resiliency-building tips:

1. Get adequate restorative sleep.  Poor sleep patterns and stress go hand-in-hand.

2. Engage in adequate physical exercise daily. Exercise is a major buffer against stress, including stress from depression.

3. Maintain a healthy diet and keep your weight within a desired range. You’ll have fewer health-related problems.

4. Nourish your quality social support networks through reciprocally supporting others who support you. Quality social support correlates with higher levels of resiliency.

5. Meet challenges as they occur and avoid procrastination and the stresses that come from it and crises that arise from delays.

6. Build tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty and you are less likely to experience anxieties related to a need for certainty.

7. Express higher-order values, such as responsibility and integrity. This gives you a compass for taking a sound direction.

8. Work to build high frustration tolerance. High frustration tolerance, cognitive flexibility, and problem-solving actions are normally interconnected.

9. Stretch to achieve realistic optimism. This is a belief that you can both self-improve and act to make things more workable for you. You exercise realistic optimism by acting to do and get better.

10. Boost resilience with preventive actions where you reduce your risk for negative thinking and increase your chances for realistic thinking.

 

For more information, or to book, drop us a line at hello@mojow.com

 

Win an office massage session for your company

Starting today, we’re giving you and your work colleagues the chance to win an office massage session courtesy of mojow.

We’ll send one of our expert therapists into your office to dispense wonderfully relaxing Chair and Indian Head Massages.

All you need to do is connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and on our website at mojow.dev

The more ways that you connect with us, the more chances you’ll have to win.

So spread the word around your office and join us, follow us, like us and generally say hello to mojow.

Here are the details of the draw.

Follow the links below to enter. Every individual connection gives you an added opportunity to win. All connections made up until 31st July will be entered into the draw and the winner will be notified in the first week of August.

Like us on Facebook here
Follow us on Twitter here
Connect with us on LinkedIn here
Join our Google+ circle here
Signup with mojow here

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First Prize:
2.5 hours of  relaxing Chair and Indian Head massage, to be used however you like in your workplace. (Example: 10 people, 15mins each,  or 7 people, 20mins each, or 5 people, 30mins each). Total time 2.5 hours. Value £150

Second Prize:
50% off voucher, for mojow’s relaxing Chair and Indian Head massage session in your workplace.

Third Prize:
30% off voucher, for any of our employee wellbeing workshops, services and massages. These workshops tackle stress in the work place, dealing with difficult conversations, workplace wellbeing, getting fit for work, nutrition, workstation ergonomics and much more. Full details of all our services can be found at mojow.com/services

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The Winner will be drawn randomly on the 31/7/2013 from all those people who have liked, joined, connected, followed or signed up with us, across our social media platforms. The winner will be contacted in the first week of August. The prizes must be used within 3 months of been drawn and can only be used in the area within the M25 of London, and in one booking session only. All those who have connected with mojow prior to July, will automatically be entered into the draw.

Look out for more great offers, workshops and information coming from mojow.

We’re here to help you feel better, healthier, happier at work

 

Stress in the workplace

Monday morning and the call comes in from a member of your team. They’re not coming in to work… illness.

But are you sure it’s the migraine they say it is? A headache? The Flu?

Chances are, it could be something else. Something that they’d rather not divulge to you.

It could be stress that’s keeping them away from work.

The UK economy loses more than £17 billion a year through workplace absenteeism, therefore it is now becoming even more important for companies to start tackling issues such as stress in the workplace.

Mental health amongst employers is still a taboo subject but some employers are beginning to realise the impact on business and productivity.

Currently one in six employees are thought to suffer from mental health problems such as stress, depression or anxiety.

At mojow we work with business leaders to combat the stigma attached to mental health and change the approach to mental health. We encourage the topic to be discussed openly and with trust. We help to combat the stigma attached to mental health.

We aim to give employers a better understanding on how to support staff with mental health problems. We teach managers how to pick up early warning signs of stress and equip them to act quickly.

To find out more about innovative and effective ways of managing stress – through mindfulness, nutrition and strategies for achieving a more balanced work-life balance – give us a call on 020 7127 4317. Or drop us a line at  hello@mojow.com

 

How mindfulness meditation beats anxiety

Have you ever thought of, or tried, mindfulness meditation as a means to beat anxiety? Well, surprising as it may sound, scientists have seen its positive effects in action.

Technology and research have advanced now to the point where scientists can observe the way in which meditation affects the brain to reduce anxiety.

Using special imaging technology, researchers in the USA have recently reported that they have determined the way in which meditation affects certain brain mechanisms.

While meditation is becoming more accepted as a method to significantly reduce anxiety in patients with anxiety and depression, this study is the very first to show the brain mechanisms associated with meditation-related anxiety relief in healthy people.

“In this study, we were able to see which areas of the brain were activated and which were deactivated during meditation-related anxiety relief.” said Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., the lead author of the study.

In the study, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, researchers followed 15 healthy volunteers with normal levels of everyday anxiety. Participants took four 20-minute classes to learn a technique known as ‘mindfulness meditation.’

Their brain activity was examined before and after meditation using a special type of imaging that’s very effective at imaging brain processes, such as meditation. Anxiety reports were also measured before and after brain scanning.

Study participants reported decreases in anxiety ratings by as much as 39 percent.

“Just a few minutes of mindfulness meditation can help reduce normal everyday anxiety,” Zeidan said.
“Mindfulness is premised on sustaining attention in the present moment and controlling the way we react to daily thoughts and feelings,” Zeidan said.

“Interestingly, the findings reveal that the brain regions associated with meditation-related anxiety relief are remarkably consistent with the principles of being mindful.”

 

If you’d like to experience the benefits of mindfulness meditation in your people and organisation, mojow can organise classes for up to 20 people.
Drop us a line or call us on 020 7127 4317

 

The work life balance and employee wellbeing

So, how do you balance the work life balance and employee wellbeing? According to a recent newspaper feature Martin Bjergegaard, a highly successful businessman, says that in order to succeed and be happy it’s no longer necessary to work extra long hours that don’t allow family time.

Which then begs the question can we really ‘have it all’?

That may well depend on your definition of what ‘it all’ means. Because what’s important to one individual will not hold true for others. We each need to make choices about what we want in our world so we can better manage all its parts according to our individual priorities, aspirations and values.

That term, ‘work-life balance’ has been around since 1986. Like many buzzwords it was first used in the United States in relation to the perceived proliferation of Americans who were working longer and longer hours, usually to the detriment of their family life.

Since then it has been increasingly appropriated for use in the workplace to try to slow the creeping tide of ‘having to be in’ the office all the time and to halt the ever increasing number of working days.

Unfortunately the term work life balance seems to have become something of a stigma rather than holding its original expression of a means to define and address modern workplace challenges. Now when you mention ‘work-life balance’ peoples’ reaction tends to be of the raised eyebrow or the rolled eyes type, indicating that it gets in the way of ‘real work’. At worst it is met with a rather disparaging contempt and reserved for women juggling childcare with a career or work.

So is the term work-life balance still one that we should use? What does it mean 40 odd years on? One major drawback of its current usage is that it assumes that the work place and home are separable. It implies that by using a pair of proverbial scales we can move between each, neatly establishing an ‘equilibrium’ in our lives.

But life is not like that. (Was it ever?) We humans don’t separate the parts of us that carry out our career roles and send them to work. Neither do we do this for everything outside of work. Hopes, worries and priorities travel with us all the time. When something is happening in one area of our life it impacts all the other areas of our lives very directly. When something causes anxiety, however mild it may be, our cognitive capacity is diminished in some way because our brains will place a focus on the problem. Work-life conflict is a direct source of distress that drains our energy and damages our performance. Worse still, in those situations where it persists, this conflict poses an attributable risk to both our health and our organisations’ reputations – along with a negative effect on economic outputs.

So there’s a very strong correlative relationship between work-life integration, flexible working and their influence on well-being, both corporate and personal.

We should no longer assume that the call to pay attention to flexible working and ‘work-life balance’ is coming from just one small group within the workforce. The need to integrate our world is universal, and numerous research projects and studies have highlighted the fact that that those not working flexibly (or not allowed to) experience diminished well-being.

Creating workplaces where every individual can flourish and engage means supporting every person to integrate their worlds so they can deliver their best.

It’s not about a set of flexible working policies.

It’s about creating a culture of trust.

mojow runs workshops on rebalancing the work life balance, for individuals and companies. They’re full of helpful and actionable advice and strategies for managing in the modern world. To feel better, happier and healthier in your work and your home time, contact us for details.

Eating for cycling

Want to cycle like Sir Bradley Wiggins? Then think about what you eat.

Eating for cycling requires a diet that provides your body with ‘fuel’ to go the distance. This is an incredibly important part of distance and endurance cycling.  Even a leisurely ride in the park will burn around 250 calories per hour. Take it a bit more seriously that’ll increase to 300-450 calories. And without the correct types of food and drink your body’s immune system can weaken and you’ll become more tired much quicker.

So if you’re training for an event this Summer, or next, you might like to take a leaf out of the Pro’s recipe book.

For a highly active endurance sport such as cycling, a high carbohydrate (carb) diet is the way to go. You should aim to consume around 60-70% carbohydrates in your diet.

Carbs fall into two categories: complex (slow), and simple (fast). Complex carbs are high in fibre and break down into glycogen slowly, leaving you with energy for longer periods of time.

Simple carbs work in the opposite manner. They give your body short but intense amounts of glycogen, therefore on longer rides they require topping up every so often. A mix of both types of carbohydrates is best, however, because complex carbs stabilise blood sugar and even out the body’s energy levels it’s advisable to have a stronger emphasis on these.

A cyclists’ diet should contain around 20-30% fats. Fats like butter, cheese, milk, yoghurt and olive oil aid the breaking down of food to produce glycogen and help to store necessary sugars and energy. Avoid hydrogenated and saturated fats. Stick with vegetable oils (olive, sunflower and vegetable oil). Nuts also contain highly beneficial oils.

It’s good for a cyclist to consume 15-20% protein in their diet as this aids the rebuilding of muscle tissue fibres. Although meat contains protein, it is not so easily broken down so try to include beans, cheese, egg, milk, nuts and vegetables into a meal. These are far easier for the body to extract the protein.

By eating a variety of fresh fruit and veg, you will be feeding your body with essential vitamins and minerals, enzymes, electrolytes and micro-nutrients. These help repair tissue, maintain a healthy immune system, and keep your bodily functions working well.

Energy bars and gels are widely used by cyclists and athletes before, during and after training and races. These are easily digested and boost the body’s supply of calories, carbs, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Many cyclists don’t drink enough. Drinking water is equally (if not more) important than food. if you are riding to work, drinking a coffee or two, and working in an air-conditioned office, your wellbeing may suffer if you are not hydrated.

Studies have shown that a loss of 700ml (a normal sized cycling bottle) of bodily fluids can result in 7% decrease in performance and 1400ml loss gives a 20% drop in performance.

Energy drinks are a great idea as they not only hydrate the body but feed it with necessary nutrients including carbs and electrolytes.

After exercise it is just as important to consume fluid and carbohydrates in order to recover. Recovery drinks contain complex carbs to assist the body to do just that, and because they’re in liquid form it’s much easier to stomach after a race.

Diet and nutrition are complex topics, and everyone has different preferences for the kinds of fuel they like to use. That said, there are some principles that everyone should follow. Here are mojow’s diet and nutrition tips to help in the build up to a big day in the saddle.
 

  • Eat a suitable diet as outlined above, ensuring your glycogen reserves are fully stocked.
  • Increased high-mileage training will reduce glycogen consumption as your stamina builds (and muscle regeneration slows).
  • Gradually reduce mileage 7 days prior to a major endurance race to build glycogen reserves.
  • There are important glycogen reserves your muscles and liver. However the reserve in the liver usually takes longer to mobilise. Therefore begin your ride relatively slowly for between 5-15 minutes (10-15 minutes is best), otherwise you’ll burn up your muscles glycogen supply before the liver has started depletion.
  • Eat whilst cycling.
  • Drink plenty even if you feel you don’t need it.
  • Eat lots of carbohydrates the night prior to cycling.
  • If taking part in a race, eat at least 3 hours before the race and nothing after 1 hour before, otherwise eat food with low protein and fat so that it’s digested quicker
  • Drink a strong black coffee 1 hour before cycling as the caffeine mobilises fatty acids – then follow with plenty of water.
  • Don’t forget to eat and drink as soon as possible after exercise to regain lost energy and fluid.
  •  
    mojow run a special series of workshops for office based athletes who are looking to take on an endurance challenge. Discover more here.
     

    Energy boosting green smoothie

    This energy boosting green smoothie drink gets its vibrant colour from chlorophyll, a nutrient-rich pigment found in all leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, celery and lettuce, that cleans the body of harmful toxins, oxygenates the blood and helps boost energy levels.

    Blending make greens’ full spectrum of nutrition readily available to the body. Nutrients are encased inside plant cells and getting their benefits requires these cells’ walls to be ruptured. Greens need to be worked down to a creamy consistency. Blending addresses this problem, helping your body absorb the maximum amount of nutrition from your greens.

    Ingredients

    1) Choose your favourite leafy greens; kale, swiss chard, spinach, lettuce.
    2) Add an avocado or dandelion greens
    3) Add apples or pears
    4) Add some water, warm or cold, or try with coconut water
    5) If you would like to sweeten it try adding some dates or stevia
    6) Blend and drink

    Enjoy!

    Yummy…eat your way to wellness

    One of our expert nutritionists can offer a consultation during which they can provide personalised, practical guidelines and suggest simple changes that can be made to your workplace diet, which will help boost energy levels and improve your general health and wellbeing. Oh, did we mention that they’re delicious changes too?

    Our nutrition workshops begin with a general introduction to the subject and then focus on individual issues which might include:

    • Antioxidants
    • Controlling your weight
    • Eating on the run
    • Essentials of good nutrition
    • Nutritional Medicine
    • Reading Food Labels
    • The art of living healthily
    • The challenge: The improvement of performance at work through nutrition
    • Superfoods – How super are they?

    Ain’t got time to be ill

    We’re seeing an increasing emphasis placed by forward thinking companies on wellness and health protection for their staff and people. We think that the future of workplace wellbeing and healthcare lies with partnerships between companies and employers and healthcare providers who are able to work with staff and employees to look after their health and postpone illness as far as possible. The only sustainable way for a business to manage and mitigate the long-term costs of ill health and absenteeism is to engage people in managing their own health. When individuals are given a meaningful incentive to look after their health, and any barriers are reduced, they are more likely to take up and maintain healthy lifestyles. Since people spend a significant percentage of their time in the workplace, it is essential that employers are involved in this effort too. We’d love to share some easy, fun and stimulating ways to do this.

    Drop us a line, give us a call and get involved.

    Gently does it

    Every year in the UK 200 million days are lost through sickness absence – an average of 8.5 days lost per annum – at an estimated cost of £13 billion, according to the CBI. And each week, one million people (almost 4 per cent of the workforce averaged out over a year) take time off work due to illness, and 3000 people move from Statutory Sick Pay onto Incapacity Benefit.

    As a healthy workforce has lower sickness absence, it is clear that employers can achieve significant cost savings if they can reduce their absence by improving employee health and well-being at work.

    As in so many other realms, employers – and especially SMEs – want guidance and support, but with a light touch. They want this support to go ‘with the grain’ of business, and not to interfere with the natural rhythm of the way they conduct themselves.

    So we have a very big (and growing) national issue, which we must tackle with subtlety and sensitivity if we are to get businesses to engage. We think it is possible to argue that Workplace Health represents – both now and over the next decade or two – as big a threat to the UK’s productivity and competitiveness as our skills and training deficit. Health at work cannot be a ‘sideline’ which supplements its existing good work to promote the adoption of best people management practices among UK employers.

    It must come into the mainstream.
    See what we’re doing about it at mojow.dev