The Pandemic Did Not Affect Mental Health the Way You Think–Atlantic, July 4, 2021
It has become accepted knowledge that the pandemic triggered a global mental health crisis, but a fascinating new study commissioned by The Lancet (analyzing 1,000 studies worldwide) questions that truism. Some groups, especially those facing financial stress, have experienced life-changing suffering—but globally, people have not experienced the misery expected or claimed: They’ve exhibited incredible resiliency because of the human “psychological immune system.” The lesson: “Human beings are not passive victims of change but active stewards of our own wellbeing.”
The full study
Trials of a Four-Day Workweek in Iceland Were an “Overwhelming Success”–Business Insider, July 5, 2021
The world’s largest trial of a shorter workweek was by all measures an overwhelming success. The trial took place in Iceland from 2015–2019, and 2,500 workers received the same pay but moved from 40 to 35–36 hours a week. The results: equal or better productivity levels and improved health and work-life balance. It’s led to many more Icelandic workers moving to shorter hours, and other trials are now being run around the world, including in Spain and by Unilever in New Zealand.
Knowledge of Medicinal Plants at Risk as Languages Die Out–Guardian, June 8, 2021
A new study from the University of Zurich reveals that the loss of linguistic diversity will likely lead to the disappearance of age-old remedies unknown to science. Fast-disappearing indigenous languages/cultures contain vast amounts of knowledge about natural ecosystems, and that loss, say the researchers, “will have more negative repercussion to the extinction of traditional knowledge about medicinal plants than the loss of the plants themselves.”
New Study Reveals a Major Side Effect of Walking More–ETNT Mind+Body, June 30, 2021
It’s received wisdom now that walking is good for us for a multitude of reasons. New research goes further. Brisk walking for a certain number of minutes every week may offset the deleterious effects of poor sleep, which is itself linked to a myriad of health issues. The article also contains useful sources about the relationship between walking (or mild physical exercise) and sleep and our lifespan.
How the Pandemic Could Save Us–VOXeu, June 20, 2021
A professor of globalization and development at Oxford argues that the pandemic could go down in history as the event that rescued humanity (despite all the suffering it has caused). The reason is this: COVID has created a hinge moment of change, in which governments and citizens have demonstrated their ability to undertake reforms that would have been impossible before the pandemic. Sustaining and building on this momentum for reform is therefore vital.
A Striking Stat:
47% of people report that wellness and mental health is a top motivator for travel in 2021.
Source: American Express’s Global Travel Trends survey, March 2021