January 8, 2021
weekly survival tip
Want to come up with some New Year’s resolutions that will actually make you happier this year? Us too. But, what are those, you say? Resolutions that improve your well-being, like forgiveness and gratitude. Read here for more about why these are so powerful.
This didn’t come as much of a shock to us, but it turns out that women are better leaders during a crisis. According to research conducted last year and repeated this year during the pandemic between March and June, people working with women rated them as better leaders than men. Not only that, but “the gap between men and women in the pandemic is even larger than previously measured, possibly indicating that women tend to perform better in a crisis.” The data revealed that workers are keen to have leaders who can learn new skills, focus on developing their employees even under difficult circumstances, who are honest and have integrity and who can empathize with their employees when they experience stress, anxiety and frustration – all traits women show more often. Some important characteristics to think about as we struggle on during the Covid-19 pandemic.
On a totally different front, here’s a story about the benefits of exercise “snacking.” Yeah, we didn’t know what that was before either, but it’s 2021 and we’re all excited for something new! Basically, it’s short (sometimes very short, as in a mere few seconds short) bursts of exercise during the day. Think running the stairs, a wall squat, a few lunges. For those who take several of these “snacks” every day, research has shown real gains in fitness and overall health. While not meant to completely replace longer, regular, workouts, these short bursts can be a helpful addition, particularly for people who spend many hours sitting at a computer. Key to reaping the benefits, however, is to make sure you’re working hard for the full 5 seconds or 2 minutes or however long you are “snacking.” As one expert put it in the article, “you need to push it a little bit.”
The new year always seems to come with a lot of lists… Well, we’re hoping you’re not too listed-out because we have a few more for you here. But, we promise, you’ll like them. Even though we can all acknowledge the dumpster fire of a year that was 2020, there was – improbably – still some good news, even for the environment and wildlife. For starters, this article in National Geographic highlights not just individual and newsworthy positive developments, but underlying trends pointing in the right, conservation-minded, direction. Those include some big wins for the great outdoors like the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in July (we wrote about it here), significant growth in the sale and development of electric vehicles, big banks pulling funding from environmentally harmful projects (we wrote about that, too), and increased attention to protecting the ocean.
The Guardian tackled a similar theme and published a piece exploring the many reasons we actually have to be hopeful in 2021. Of those, a good number center on the environment, such as the ways the city of Bristol, in Britain, is going green. There, turbines and waterways generate city power, recycling rates near 50 percent and bike paths, green space and vegan restaurants abound. Other bits of good news for the planet? A New York-based company that makes vodka (and potentially other useful alcohols) from carbon dioxide and water, capturing CO2 from the atmosphere in the process; nearly extinct species coming back from the brink; and growing interest in (the much more sustainable) regenerative farming.
It’s one thing – and probably the most important thing – to just get outside on adventures with your kids. But it’s another thing to try to actually teach them something about what they see while they’re out there, we mean, if you don’t have a wildlife biology degree or something. That’s where this useful guide to nature-focused apps, podcasts and websites comes in. These tools, some of which function fully offline and others of which are free of cost, can help you and your little iksplorers identify the birds, insects, mammals, fish, plants, flowers, trees, rocks, stars and more (!!) that you see on the trail. It’s a digital crib sheet for exploring and learning about the natural world and an excellent way to really make the most of your family time in the wild.