I hope you are all keeping both safe and finding ways to break free from the Groundhog Day of lockdown.
This week we cover why slowing down is good for you, the perils of forwarding WhatsApp videos and how laughter boosts your immune system.
My wife turned 39 last week. We had a lockdown birthday together with zoom drinks with friends, a piñata on the roof terrace for the kids, and we made a Video Celebration so that everyone could contribute to the big day even though they couldn’t be there in person. There’s no doubt that lockdown birthdays are unforgettable in their own way!
Slowing down feels right
We’ve all adapted over the last weeks. That’s what happens when your normal freedoms are stripped away. It’s ironic that pre-pandemic that my wife and I struggled to find time to have lunch, despite working a block away. We now sit down to lunch (breakfast & supper) every day and it feels good. As two working parents we’ve been forced to slow down, think about what’s important for us and the children. I love spending extra time with the kids too, despite the challenge of switching between home-schooling and work. Here’s what we create over the weekend – a fun project made by a bunch of children aged 5, 6, 7,10 and 50 years old: Picasso Park – ‘An adventure 65 million years and 1 day in the making’ (Picasso is the street we live in) – if you’d like to know the method behind the madness, just reply to this email.
The perils of becoming a sommelier of WhatsApp videos…
Making light of awful situations is a historic marker of a human coping mechanism (particularly British), helping us soothe the collective anxiety. During lockdown we’ve become WhatsApp meme sommeliers, forwarding hilarious jokes and videos from one group to another, skillfully matching content to taste. Until it goes wrong. Don’t make the mistake I did by accidentally serving cheap lager to the red wine crowd and sending the wrong video to the wrong group. Old school friends and primary school parent-teacher groups have very different sensitivities. The initial moment of terror was followed by a wave of panic and a cursing of fat thumbs as I desperately tried to withdraw the evidence – only to succeed in deleting it from my view only – leaving the video forever beyond my reach. Only one option was left, leave the group. Leo needed a new school anyway.
Laughter is good for you
Inspirational phrases can always help to shift our energy and boost our mood. In times of crisis like we’re experiencing now, meaningful and memorable words of wisdom can have even more resonance, giving us a fresh perspective or insight when we are feeling stressed or fearful. The reason we sprinkled the books with humour is that laughter is very good for you. It triggers the release of endorphins, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and increases your immune system and infection-fighting antibodies. Maybe, in some small way, these personalised books can help you fight you know what… Remember every quote is customisable and you can add your own dedication and a handful of photos to make it even more personalised.
Make a Wise(ish) Words for Thriving in lockdown
You can’t always get what you want.
But if you try sometime, you’ll find, you get what you need.
– The Rolling Stones
Through all the trauma, this is a chance to realise what’s important and how to make our lives richer, the planet healthier and our children happier. When we’re forced to look at what matters, we quickly find that family, friends and humanity is what we care most deeply about. And banana bread.
We are where we are. Any glance at history reveals that crises and disasters have continually set the stage for change, often for the better. As a start-up CEO, I’m an optimist at heart and at times by necessity! It’s important to frame any crisis not just in terms of what is lost but also what might be gained.
Remember to create a free video celebration for anyone in lockdown with a birthday, wedding, anniversary or special occasion coming up. We’ve created a special kids birthday celebration version here.
You could also make one just to cheer up someone who’s alone in your community, or to say a big hearty thank you to someone working in your local hospital. If anyone deserves celebrating it has to be these heroes on the front line.
That’s all for this week.
Stay safe everyone.
Keep smiling (from behind that face mask).
It’s going to be alright.