Each month we feature a short editorial from one or more of our strategic partners containing useful information related to work and life.
This month Club 360, Elana Jade, Sarah Furuya and Divya Marie Kato share some tips to breaking up your day, the benefits of facial peels, how to ask for help and ways to relieve stress.
1.) Club 360: Desk-Fit 360 Part 3 – Hey! Break it up!
In the third installment of our five-part Desk-Fit 360 series, we discuss some important workplace habits.
Get up and move
Most of us are stuck at our desks for hours on end when, for the most part, we don’t need to be. Even in sedentary occupations, there are always opportunities to get up out of your chair, you just have to look for them. If you’re taking a phone call or simply reading a document or article that doesn’t require you to be sitting and typing, stand up! Even a few minutes out of every hour will reduce some of the stress on your body and increase circulation. Try to utilize other opportunities to move about, too. If you work in a large office, instead of sending internal emails to colleagues, go talk to them directly. If you’re conducting meetings with three or four people and don’t require much written material, why not have the meeting while walking!
Having a cluttered desk area makes it more difficult to achieve an ideal ergonomic set-up. It’s also likely to increase stress and decrease productivity. As mentioned in the previous issue, if you must use a notebook, try to use as small a notebook as possible to decrease the space between you and the keyboard.
Spending long periods of time looking down at a paper document resting on the desk may be equally as harmful as looking down at a screen. All documents should be placed up on a document holder and kept as close to the monitor as possible.
It wasn’t until I began practicing in Tokyo that I became aware of the condition “broker’s neck,” a cervical spine injury which occurs as a result of pinching the hand-set between ear and shoulder. Luckily, this practice seems to be decreasing as people are becoming aware of the trouble it can cause but if you’re someone who finds themselves doing this, please consider using a headset or open mic.
The body needs water to perform basic functions necessary for survival and a lack of hydration may lead to decreased work performance. Try to consume at least 2 liters of water throughout your work-day. By keeping a 500 mL bottle on you, you have at least four reasons to get up and go to the water fountain.
If you’re reading this you no doubt already understand the importance of general exercise. Both the body and the mind are happier when moving well and often. Those who exercise regularly are less likely to take sick days and will have higher energy levels leading to better job performance. In terms of exercise modalities, there can be cases made for any type of exercise being the most advantageous for general health, weight loss or injury prevention. As far as lower back pain goes, research shows exercise is better than no exercise but all types are equally effective. The most important thing is to choose something you enjoy doing and are likely to stick with.
Sam Gilbert has been practicing as a physiotherapist and ergonomic consultant in Tokyo for 10 years. He is the co-founder and co-owner of Club 360 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy and a master’s degree in Exercise Science.
Club 360’s experienced physiotherapists are available to conduct ergonomic consultations and ergonomic seminars in both English and Japanese. For further information contact, email@example.com.
2.) Elana Jade: How Do Peels Work?
A lot of people know having a peel will exfoliate the skin, which improves the texture and tone, helps to clear acne and reduces fine lines. However, knowing how this is achieved is a little if a mystery.
There are multiple layers of the epidermis (the outer layer, what we can see) and dermis (inner layer of connective tissue, collagen and elastic fibers), which provide protection against external aggressors, prevent dehydration, maintain internal temperature and, of course, protect our insides!
The skin is made up of skin cells that go through a cycle from the inner layers to the outer. As they move along, they’re constantly changing and become filled with keratin (a protein that protects the cells). Eventually, when they reach the most outer layer, they become “dead cells.” Our skin forms a “glue” (microscopic fibers called tonofilaments) that surrounds these cells to hold them together. Over an approximate four to six-week rejuvenation cycle, the glue eventually breaks, allowing the dead cells to drop off the skin naturally, allowing newer cells to develop. By speeding up this process, we can give the skin a more youthful complexion, get rid of the bacteria in the skin more quickly and improve the tone and texture of the skin.
To read the full article, click HERE.
3.) Sarah Furuya: Clever Rebels Ask for Help (AKA Why I love Facebook and Community)
About a month ago I wanted to get 2,000 USD together quick. Really quick. Within a week. And I was going to Dubai the next day for a week.
So I hopped onto Facebook knowing that I know hundreds of smart, funny, insightful, creative and entrepreneurial, helpful and generous people. Also knowing that whatever answer I got would be useful to me, my Facebook friends and my clients. Because once I had options, I had choices.
The first quarter of 2016 was three months of “financial hygiene” for my business and me. These were my anchor words for the quarter. So impulse-investing in a 2,000 USD online program, was not on the agenda, even though I am a firm believer in investing in self development and it is my experience that it comes back multifold later down the line, “financial hygiene” is something different to investing and I was being true to my financial hygiene goal.
P.S. I decided not to invest in the end; I got a massive project at work which was actually worth more than this investment, but also meant I had to focus on the project, not the program. Still, it’s incredible what happens when you enter into inquiry and possibility (And was humble and confident enough to ask the question!).
I threw this question out on Facebook:
“I want to get 2,000 USD together by Wednesday so I can finally do Marie Forleo’s B-school this year. What should I do? What’s a quick and fun way to get $2,000 together? Whacky, creative, salty or practical ideas all welcome!”
So here it is – the answers that I received.
- Pawn your valuables
- Auction your collections
- Sell your gold jewelry for melt
- Dip into your stock portfolio
- Take out a bank loan
- Bake up some brownies and muffins and sell them at the station or park
- Set up at a cafe with a sign and sell quickie English convo lessons at ¥1,000 for 10 minutes
- Sell other stuff
- Have a bake sale
- Convince one of the companies you work with to invest in you by paying a portion advance on your services (which then sparked my interest in asking one of my client companies to pay for the investment so long as I transferred my learning back into the company)
- A loan
People who know me really well — good for me, good for them:
- Group coaching day where you share you wisest wisdoms with a choice selection of lovely ladies who would all be willing to chip in — I’d be up for it and know others would *SEF “Watch this space”
- Sell special advance vouchers for coaching sessions to be redeemed in the future with extra stuff thrown in
- Donation for on the spot fashion/life coaching advice (SEF — fashion?)
- Put together a self Mindmapping (r) how-to session; you can use the venue in my building for free — 10 people (SEF wait — WHAT? You’re offering your space for free??? Water falls from eyes at the generosity)
- Sarah, you could also do a group coaching webinar to raise cash quick
- Is there a scholarship? (Otherwise I like [Name’s] idea)
- How did it go?
Suggestions from people who had already been through the program in which I wanted to invest:
- It’s good, but you might get just as much doing [alternative suggestion’s] program, or at least go through as affiliate. I wish I had known about the sweet deals when I did this years ago
- I think [another awesome entrepreneur] also has an affiliate program
- I heard it’s a great program. Didn’t [name of mutual friend] do it? Pawning has indeed worked for me in the past — depends on what you have and what you are willing to part with.
In-jokes, based on coaching conversations:
- Jump off the cliff with speed (The other analogy doesn’t belong on Facebook) — email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to hear the other, somewhat salty analogy. Subject line “Salty Analogy”
Get with the Zeitgeist:
- Where is your “GoFundMe” page?
Encouragement (always welcome):
- Good luck! Sending fingers crossed your way
- Dress up in your best cosplay and charge for photos at Harajuku Station
- *x-rated suggestion by my hilarious brother — still on Facebook if you’re interested . . .
- Straight down to the betting shop
- Free hugs
- I wish I could manifest the money, too!
- If you figure it out, let us know! Ha! Good luck!
What do you find useful in here? How is it relevant to your life?
Not only that, but one peer, also a coach who has been through the program, actually called me to ask questions, offer advice and alternatives. For over half an hour. Amazing. I will not be doing the program this time round, but I have a treasure chest of ideas that I wanted to share with you.
We call this crowdsourcing. I call this community, conversation, invitation, humanity, friendship, generosity, sharing and getting involved. It’s pretty simple humaning at it’s best.
Ask for help, get help, allow other people to give you help.
Calling all Clever Rebels! I work with people who are transitioning, dreaming about a bigger better life, or a smaller simpler one, don’t know what to do, have taken on big executive roles, are leaving their jobs (I did this), are expats who want to engage or get back to work, head up organizations (I did this), are having the same recurring negative thoughts and limiting self beliefs that are holding them back over and over again or are having problems moving forward, even though they know they want to. I have a truth-seeking sensor that can hear your stories and offer alternative.
If you are interested in finding out more about how to work with me as a personal or professional life coach email email@example.com for your free fifteen! Big discounts for FEW members (I love FEW).
When we ask for what we need, the responses can be surprising in their generosity. It’s so simple. It’s how we humans survive and thrive.
“Everybody has stories, I want to hear yours.”
4.) Divya Marie Kato: Let’s Talk About Stress, Baby
Remember? No? The 90s. The Song. Salt-N-Pepa. “Let’s Talk About Sex.” Frankness. Beat breaking taboos (Who doesn’t like a bit of taboo breakage?).
So friends, come on, why not? It’s Spring! Let’s talk about . . .
Busybusybusybusybusysbusybusy . . . Ever tried typing this word repeatedly? Right hand “b,” “u,” left hand “s,” “y” busybusybusybusybusybusybusybusybusybusybusybusybusybusybusybusybusybusy . . .
Expectations? Pressure? Prejudice? All things bright and beautiful?
The Environment. The News. All this and more and . . . Never. Enough. Time.
At times, physical movement. At others, mental movement (and the “other” movement . . . well, that’s the pudding proof and no mistake).
I recently shared a wonderful exchange with Yoko Majima, our very own community lawyer. We talked about how we try to keep stress at bay. About having a peaceful mind. Grateful to Yoko for sharing what she did. It means a lot to me when people reach out with truth. Being open and honest about what they struggle with. It always hits home because it’s something I connect to. On a human level.
I struggle with stress too. It’s a word that comes up in conversations often. Sometimes scarily the norm.
Filing my taxes last week with Mori-san, our community tax accountant, the topic of stress came up again. Mori-san smiled. In a voice soft with warmth and crystal clear clarity, she told me how her only aim is to take as much stress out of taxes as possible. Fantastic. Her gift. Gratefully received by me and many others in our community.
“I think in today’s world, the number one reason to mediate is that we live in a world that has a lot of stress. People are constantly feeling time pressure, peer pressure, performance anxiety . . . What does this do? Physical and biological havoc…strokes..diseases..addictive behaviour…We now know that stress…emotional, psychological, physical…is the number one epidemic of our civilization” — Deepak Chopra speaking to Oprah Winfrey
(Haven’t tried their 21 Day Mediation? Try it out here — it’s free!)
THE CHOCOLATE BOX
The good news is that there are many ways to release stress. A veritable chocolate box of treats: meditation, hiking, coloring, sex (together or alone: yes!), yoga, dancing, gardening… From “woo woo” to buzz words, meditation and mindfulness are growing and attracting people from all walks of life. What I also disregarded as “woo woo” is now essential. For creating that small, still space. A place to connect to bigger and beyond. For peace of mind. For self love and knowing that I’m enough. What does my practice look like?
PENCIL, MEET PAPER
“Once, when I was struggling with a book, I signed up for a drawing class, just to open up some other kind of creative channel within my mind. I can’t draw very well, but that didn’t matter; the important thing was that I was staying in communication with artistry at some level. I was fiddling with my own dials, trying to reach inspiration in any way possible. Eventually, after enough drawing, the writing began to flow again” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
“Play is an antidote to stress, and this is key because stress, in addition to being an enemy of productivity, can actually shut down the creative, inquisitive, exploratory parts of our brain. You know how it feels: you’re stressed..suddenly everything starts going wrong…you can’t find your keys, you bump into things…I have seen play reverse these effects in my own children. When they are stressed and things feel out of control, I have them draw. When they do, the change is almost immediate. The stress melts away and their ability to explore is regained” — Greg McKeown, Essentialism
It looks very much like this: Pencil and Paper. Worth so much more than their separate parts.
Drawing for Reflection. (inner) Drawing for Expression. (outer)
Drawing is how I process experiences and the thoughts and feelings that come with them.
I have witnessed this countless times. Sharing drawing. Watching people light up. Discover new things. Make changes.
“There’s something there that wasn’t there before…I’m much happier about how my life is going….I thought this was just an art class, it’s so much more!…one of the reasons for my big awakening”
I can’t wish you a stress-free Spring — I’m a realist and it doesn’t exist! — I can, however, wish you a happy Spring. And should things get too much, I hope this has inspired you to try drawing. With Spring springing all around, we’re spoiled for choice.
Pick up a pencil. Start and see. The flowers make the best teachers.
Look out for my drawing workshop with FEW coming up later this year. For more on the benefits of drawing, insider tips, free resources and sneak peeks from my forthcoming book, “When in doubt, draw”, make sure you’re signed up to my newsletter, which you can do over at divyamariekato.com.
Drawing. Done Differently. My soon-to-debut Online Drawing Course. More for you on this very soon!
For inquiries or to arrange a free consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q&A with Jackie F. Steele and Megumi Ishimoto
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Celebrating Women as Change Agents in Post-Disaster Tohoku,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with Jackie F. Steele, a political scientist at the University of Tokyo, and Megumi Ishimoto, Executive Director of NPO Women’s Eye. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Join us […]Published on 14th March 2018
March Strategic Partner Member Offers and Other News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]Published on 1st March 2018
February Meeting Recap: Survivor – How to Overcome Adversity
You never know where life is going to take you. That was the message from our February guest speaker, Maxine Van-Cliffe Arakawa, who has had a decades-long career as a fashion stylist, make-up artist, and fashion show director in New York and Japan. She shared her personal experiences dealing with bi-polar disorder and gave her candid advice to […]Published on 1st March 2018
March Community Services Feature: Five Tokyo-Based Organizations That Fight For or Empower Women
In honor of March’s International Women’s Day, we’d like to present to our FEW community a list of five organizations that have established themselves as organizations who fight for or empower women as well as a list of five events that you can attend to show your support for this year’s theme of #PressFor Progress. […]Published on 28th February 2018
How I Got Here: Johanna Nousiainen
I first came to Japan as a study abroad exchange student. That year changed my life, even though at first I didn’t know it would. I was supposed to become a journalist in Finland, since that was what I loved to do – looking for information, interviewing people, writing articles about unique encounters you have. […]Published on 28th February 2018
FEW Spring Hanami Picnic & Party
Join FEW on Sunday, April 1, at Shinjuku Gyoen for a special family-friendly spring picnic celebration under the cherry blossom trees and enjoy connecting with friends, old and new!