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12 Days of Positivity

As 2020 draws to a close, we look back and reflect on the difficulties we have faced and overcome – instead of focusing on the negatives, we can look to see the positive things that have blossomed from this year.

New and innovative hobbies have sprung from lockdown, we’ve found different techniques to relax and wind down, and discovered new games that help us escape. It’s important to remember the positives, and be proud of ourselves and each other for getting through a really tough year, and to celebrate each other as we move forward.

Over the next 12 days, Safe In Our World will be sharing 12 of our positives that we’re taking from this year into the next – with thanks from everyone at Safe In Our World. We will be updating this page every day, so watch this space.

Stay tuned from the 13th – 24th December to read all the different things we’ve been up to, you might read something you want to try yourself!


Day 1 – Richard Lee Breslin

“Whether I’m feeling stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, suffering from tinnitus or just want to pass by an hour or two, there’s very little that lifts my spirits more than painting my board game miniatures.

Due to a lack of confidence, I had put this hobby off for years, but during lockdown I decided to go for it and now it’s turned into one of my all-time favourite hobbies.

With each miniature I feel like I’ve learned something new and I always look forward to the next. If there’s any hobby that you’ve wanted to do, just go for it as you might discover a talent you thought you never had.”


Day 2 – Stefano Petrullo

Patron, Founder of Renaissance PR

“Once coming to this country back in 2006 I was not able to call myself a chef, barely been able to cook eggs and some basic pasta dishes! Now, with years of experience, I’ve found cooking extremely relaxing, and that it completely disconnects me to the intricacies and the complication of day-by-day work.

We are so lucky to work in such an amazing industry which is not affected too much by COVID. At the same time we have to acknowledge how this intense this industry can be. There’s nothing wrong with stopping and having a break, and looking at a recipe (a simple Carbonara, an elaborated Risotto with taleggio, red wine and salsiccia are the perfect way to completely reset whatever stress you have).

Start simple with something you actually like and then gradually experiment. My love for cooking has recently led me to a passion for BBQ… from burgers, to more elaborate cooking techniques to create the perfect dish. Am I a master of this? No, not at all… but cooking gives me this moment of peace between too many press-releases, the occasional embargo being broken, and a difficult feature I am trying to pitch.”


Day 3 – RenjiPls

Ambassador, Content Creator

“The biggest thing I loved during lockdown was making sure I got in my government-approved walks every day. These last few months it’s been a bit more difficult, but I’m looking forward to getting out into the lovely winter weather!”

Just look at the views Renji has on his doorstep!


Day 4 – Lara Jackson

Ambassador, Journalist

“Seeing family is hard this year, so I’ve had to say goodbye to the traditional Christmas tree decorating with my loved ones. Still, the festive spirit is what you make of it, and decorating a winter wonderland in The Sims 4 is almost as good as the real thing! I created a house, got a turkey dinner in the oven and – with Christmas music blaring – I nestled in by the fire to decorate my home from top to toe. It might not be what I expected from Christmas 2020, but it was fun, relaxing and definitely has me in the festive spirit!”


Day 5 – Jack Mullen

Ambassador

“One little thing I came up with was using a resistance band for mini exercises. Back during the first lockdown in April I was in the Shielding category (This meant I couldn’t leave the house for 12 weeks, so became very conscious that I wasn’t getting exercise, from not even being able to go for a quick walk around the block).

I set myself up a little room to do some body weight exercises, including use of a small resistance band for leg side raises etc. I set myself a target of a certain amount each day and increased the amount by 1 each day as a little challenge. Naturally I got a little obsessed, and what was great is that with those exercises is that I managed to maintain the same weight over the period of being stuck in give or take a pound or two. Certainly important to me, as the condition I have that forced me to shield is kept under control by me maintaining a healthy weight.

An added bonus of these exercises is that they’re easy to do whilst multitasking, so quite a lot of the time I would be playing some games whilst getting some exercise, without really realising.”


Day 6 – Antonela Pounder

Ambassador, Director of Global Community at 505 Games

“As someone who knows too well how devastating COVID can be, I’ve spent a lot of 2020 trying to deal with grief. Communication has been key in the healing process. Online gaming sessions with friends and colleagues has helped a lot. Animal Crossing during the wobbly / difficult days proved to be a wonderful distraction and Flight Simulator has taken me places I couldn’t get to. Running has helped clear the mind and most recently, I’ve been spending my spare time making Christmas decorations, which I’ve loved! Keeping the mind active is important and will continue to be during Christmas.”


Day 7 – Nick Powell

Patron, Product Manager – Curve Digital

“Christmas! A time to eat, drink, eat some more and pack on the pounds. That’s how a lot of people seem to think this time of year, but last year I decided to do something a little more beneficial for my physical and mental health and committed to exercising on a daily basis. I challenged myself to come out of the festive period in better shape than when I went in. It’s not just Quality Street that comes in bite sized chunks – there’s a wealth of short, but effective exercise routines on YouTube you can follow from the safety of your own home and Frank Medrano’s calisthenics based exercises were my go to, and still are to this day, where I try and do at least 5 or 6 of them each week to try and maintain my physical health, which in turn really helps my mental health by improving my mood no end.”

This is Nick’s current workout by Frank Medrano! Are you up to the challenge?

Check out Nick’s Best YouTube Fitness Channels below:


Day 8 – SariaSlays

Ambassador, Content Creator

“Something that has helped me very recently is doing a little bit of DIY/decoration and updating my room so it feels more fresh and new.

I recently got some small bits/plants from IKEA to make my room feel more comfortable and it really perked my mood up! I would recommend anybody to try it out, even if it’s just changing the layout of your room, tidying your desk or putting on a nice candle.

I spend most of my day in this room doing work/streaming so it’s definitely worthwhile for my mental health.”


Day 9 – Jeane Wong

Patron, CEO of ONE PR Studio

“I’m a firm believer of staying positive and always trying to find something good in everything the world throws at you. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time, each and every experience and situation I go through teaches me something. Don’t get me wrong, everyone should expect to have good and bad days, but hopefully there are more good than bad, and know that you’re in control of your life and how you handle things. To me, being alive and having the liberties and freedoms many of us have is something I feel very fortunate to have and do not take for granted. Things can always be worse, and unfortunately they are for many people so I genuinely appreciate what I have and I humbly try to do what I can for others.

This year certainly tested my belief, and I’m happy to say there were so many good things that happened despite the bad. For me, the pandemic has allowed me to spend more time with my family – human and of the fur kind. There will be wonderful memories that come out of this time, despite what my two teenage boys think right now… mark my words, kiddos! I know my fur kids, 2 awesome dogs, are more appreciative of the time we’ve been spending together.  Even when the corgi loses a game of 3-way blackjack, as seen in one of these photos.”


Day 10 – Emma Withington

Web Team, Games PR at Bastion

It has been a year hasn’t it? 

For me 2020 has put a lot of things into perspective – most importantly, it has shown me who’s there when the going gets tough. Playing social games such as Animal Crossing, Fall Guys, and Among Us have been a huge part of what has made 2020 more than just ‘the year of the pandemic’. It’s allowed me to strengthen existing friendships and develop new ones. The brightest things shine in the darkest of times – so hold on to those guiding lights on your way to a better future. 

So, maybe you haven’t been able to take up a new hobby or try something new – that’s OK. Sometimes the facilities and the motivation just aren’t there and it’s OK to sometimes indulge in life’s comfort food. It’s a Christmas tradition for me to replay the Saints Row IV DLC: How the Saints Save Christmas – so I look forward to, once again, saving Santa with a Christmas-themed dubstep gun and spending time online with those who mean the most.


Day 11 – Nintendo Power Couple

Ambassadors

For us, the year started very rough. We were trying to move out and get back on our feet while finding ourselves depressed every day due to everything negative going on in the world. There were many days where the news was just unbearable to watch and all hope felt lost. However, for our 8-year wedding anniversary, we adopted a rescue puppy we named Milo who has changed our lives for the better in every single way! His constant kisses, cuddles, love and affection have been a positive influence on the two of us. His kindness washes away all of our anxieties and stresses and we find ourselves more at peace when he’s by our side. 

So our tip for not just the holiday season but also life in general is, if you have the means to, go to your local animal shelter and adopt a little furry friend. They’ll change your lives “fur” the better and you will find yourself wondering how you lived so long without them!


Day 12 – Ed Rumley

Patron

This Christmas, my intention is to become the CEO of the sofa in the Rumley household. This year I’ll be focussed on Watch Dogs Legion, Need For Speed Hot Pursuit and Astro’s Playroom. I also need to complete A Way Out with my son as it’s a co-op only game. There’s plenty more in my games playlist if I get through those! I will make sure I leave the sofa as a daily burst of exercise is really important to me. I’m a keen runner and love the “me time” when I chuck on my trainers and lose myself in some 90’s dance classics as I hit the streets! With that said, I’m currently nursing a running injury so am taking it easy on the distance so we will be continuing our family walks that we discovered during lockdown!”

Skills utilised:
News

How to Spot a Friend or Colleague in Need

With almost all daily communication taking place online during lockdown, it is twice as hard to spot if someone is struggling. So we’ve put together some key things to look out for during this time, in the virtual workplace and beyond.

Social Media

Ultimately, we’re creatures of habit. Is there someone you know that frequently shares content via social media? Has there been a significant drop in their activity? It’s worth reaching out to check in and see how they are doing.

Language

It’s easy to say, ‘I can’t tell how someone is saying something via text’. It’s not an entirely false statement, we lose a number of aural and visual factors required to process how a person communicates. However, we all have habits in this area too. Does someone use a lot of expressive punctuation? Are their sentences peppered with emojis and exclamation points, or colourful language and humour? Has this person started using more full stops and shorter sentences? If someone you know or work with is showing strong irregularities in their written communication this could be a sign that something is wrong. Don’t address it openly in front of the group if something stands out in a work-based chat – reach out to them individually and lend an ear.

Overworking

Is someone working later than everyone else? Are they almost invisible in workplace chats and keeping their head down? Don’t jump to the conclusion that they are finding the work too difficult or that they can’t handle the pressure. You don’t know what might be bubbling under the surface.

In this scenario, you don’t necessarily have to focus in on the individual. You can implement team based catch ups that take place toward the end of each day. Here, people can openly discuss where they are with certain tasks and offer up their help to each other, in order to wrap things up for the day. This promotes a supportive and positive environment, and will also show the individual that they are not alone. If the person is still pushing themselves too hard, reach out privately and offer support.

Keep in Touch

So, your colleague has opened up to you after you decided to check in on them. Don’t assume that once they feel calmer, everything is better and back to normal. Keep in touch with regular contact. This doesn’t mean obsessively messaging the person and patronisingly asking, ‘are you OK?!’ every hour – that will put pressure on the person and they will feel as if you’re waiting for them to be ‘fixed’. Just drop in to a chat a couple of times a week, showing that you care and share your experiences to empathise with the person. Or simply talk to them about something you know they are passionate about!

Safe Space

It can be difficult for an employee to discuss their mental health with a colleague or someone senior to them in an organisation. It can feel like it may be seen as if they are a ‘problem’, difficult to manage, or build fear of a negative impact on their performance reviews.

If the person is suffering from a condition that has been declared, suggest scheduling a regular fifteen minute chat at the end of each working week. This would be an informal chat about anything at all and provide a platform for the person to speak freely about how they feel, what they are looking to do over the weekend, or that new game they’re hooked on. Providing a safe space to speak without judgement can be a great aid in releasing some of the built up pressure a person may be feeling.

If you don’t feel like the best person for the job, float the idea to the individual and ask if they would like to set something like this up. If they agree, allow them to nominate a person they feel comfortable with.

For detailed employer advice on managing and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of staff, ACAS are hosting a webinar on Tuesday, May 19th at 10.30am BST. To register, please visit the ACAS registration page HERE

Skills utilised:
Covid 19

Play Meadow from developer Might and Delight on steam this weekend to help support Safe in our World

Developer Might and Delight, creator of Tiny Echo and the Shelter series celebrates it’s 10th anniversary with its biggest play event in Meadow this weekend. Meadow is an online fable experience where players come together in a peculiar world. From today until midnight on Sunday 25th April, Meadow is free on Steam, and sales from every other Might and Delight title will be donated to Safe in our World. If players exceed 10,000, Might and Delight will donate a further 25 percent to the charity.

To download Meadow for free, head on over to the Steam page here.

Anders Westin is the CEO of Might and Delight, and he had this to say: “In its four years Meadow has been something of a haven for players who enjoy a game world that’s not overwhelmed with millions of players and where exploration and not questing is the focus. In these days of lockdown and isolation it is more important than ever to get people together through games, and most especially in games that encourage kindness and collaboration. There’s never been a sharper focus on how gaming can contribute towards positive mental health. Our appreciation of our community and all that they bring to our games is exactly why we are where we are today – working on our next Shelter game and preparing for release of online RPG Book of Travels, a project that wouldn’t exist without Meadow fans. Now that our immediate friends and family are out of reach, we want to invite people to get together in Meadow whilst raising awareness of the part gaming can play in wellbeing and of the work Safe in Our World are doing for just that.”

Might and delight ten year anniversary

It means so much as a charity to be approached by a developer like Might and Delight, and we’re incredibly grateful for their support. It’s humbling to receive messages every day from those thanking us for what we’re doing, but our work is only just beginning. We have so much to achieve, and we’re going to achieve it together as an industry; as gamers.

Enjoy Meadow this weekend, and keep talking to one another – there’s nothing more important in the challenging times that staying connected, however you can.

 

 

Skills utilised:
News

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