Chat benches, gym rats and the joy of riding the big red truck!

Police in the English town of Burnham-on-the Sea have installed a “Chat Bench” to combat an epidemic of loneliness.

RECHARGE QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“The sign simply helps to break down the invisible social barriers that exist between strangers who find themselves sharing a common space.” 

—Burnham-On-Sea Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Tracey Grobbeler explains the rationale behind the Chat Bench

 


Welcome to The 5-Minute Recharge Newsletter that just wants to sit down and chat about the latest news in wellness.


1. 
CONNECTION ISN’T JUST FOR SMARTPHONES

During my years caring for patients, the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes. It was loneliness.
–Former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

Connection is critical to wellbeing, but how long does it take to make a close friend? According to friendly research, it takes 200 hours to make a close friend, but a casual friend–the fast food of friendship–takes significantly less time. To maintain a healthy friendship you need three elements described in this entertaining TEDx talk: positivity, consistency and vulnerability. Have you ever been locked in a loop with your friends trying to maintain the consistency of your relationship by scheduling time together? Some people are turning to Google Calendar to apply the same scheduling rigour to their friendships that they apply to scheduling work meetings. And some companies are using the mutual vulnerability that builds friendship to build teams.

2. 
SLEEPER MADNESS

What’s your idiosyncratic sleep habit? Do you feel you must have a fan spinning, your toes peeking out of the blankets or your favourite pillow to get a good night’s sleep? Our habits can be part of a nighttime routine that eases us into sleep or an anxiety-ridden crutch. Sleep trackers may also make us sleepless: worrying about the duration of your REM sleep is enough to keep you up at night. And don’t even talk about the trials of trying to train yourself to become a morning person!

3.
SHOCKING TRENDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD IN WELLNESS

A dolce far niente is Italian for the sweetness of doing nothing. The Dutch call it nisken, and it’s joining lagom (Swedish for moderation) hygge (Danish for comfy) and pantsdrunk (Finnish for drinking in your underwear) as the latest international wellness craze. But doing nothing isn’t easy. A shocking number of subjects in a study of do-nothingness preferred giving themselves electric jolts rather than being alone with their thoughts. Ouch!

4.
RIDE THE BIG RED TRUCK

Who are the happiest workers in America? Hint: they ride in a big red truck and their median annual income is just under $50,000. How can this be? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning has the answer:

The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life. ~ Viktor Frankl

Perhaps Frankl’s meaningful theory explains why some of the least happy people are working in the department that hands out licenses…they’d rather be riding the big red truck!

5.
THE FAST FIVE

May your week ahead be free of weighted pellets taped to your bum,
Lynne & Addie…and if you enjoyed this newsletter, please share the recharge with a friend!

Here’s a bonus for you from the Finnish government, the pantsdrunk emoji.