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May 2018

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We have been focusing on Mental Health this week. To continue that theme we have teamed up with nutritionist Ali Prentice from NutriknowHow, who has created a great mood food recipe. Ali is a nutritionist and wellness consultant based in London with expertise in nutrition, healthy cooking, coaching and behaviour change. We asked Ali if she could create a recipe that would be brain food for busy entrepreneurs on the go. Here is the fantastic recipe she came up with:

 

Mood Food: No Bake Energy Power Bites

Makes about 24

These portable little spheres are loaded with slow burn goodness and are easy to grab for breakfast, as a snack – or to round off a light lunch or dinner.

They are designed to deliver an intense nutrient punch – including a host of vitamins, minerals and other plant-based chemicals to support energy levels, mood and mental wellbeing.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 100g cashews soaked for a least an hour in cold water and drained
  • 100g plain porridge oats
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, or smooth peanut butter
  • 75g dates
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp cocoa, or raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Coating – choose from:

  • 20g pistachio nuts
  • 1 tbsp cocoa, or raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp grated (desiccated) coconut
  • Milled seed mix (such as Linwoods) – or make your own from linseeds, sunflower, chia and pumpkin seeds – plus add goji berries for some colour!

 

 

Instructions

  1. If possible, soak the cashews for an hour or even overnight in water to soften. Drain cashews before use.

 

  1. Blitz the oats in a coffee grinder or food processor until they resemble coarse flour. Set aside.

 

  1. Melt the coconut oil very gently. Whizz the oil (or peanut butter) with the cashews, dates, dried cranberries and vanilla extract in a food processor until they form a paste.

 

  1. Add in the oat flour, cocoa/cacao, cinnamon and salt and process until it forms a cohesive mass.

 

  1. Manually roll the mixture into balls with clean hands. If the mixture sticks to your fingers, moisten your hands lightly.

 

  1. Sprinkle your choice of coating on a plate and roll the balls around the plate to coat evenly.

 

  1. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge – where they should last for about a week, or one month in the freezer – if you can resist them!

 

Definitely give these mood food bites a go this evening or this weekend! Have you thought about consulting a nutritionist before? You can email Ali at alisonpren@gmail.com for more information on her services or visit her website.

If you want more amazing inspiration then follow Ali on the channels below:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week. We want to show you what employers can do to help improve the mental health of people in your work environment. Looking at research from both the Mental Health Foundation and other sources as well as personal experiences. The aim of this is to bring you some ideas to implement in your work place to support staff with existing mental health issues. As well as helping create a positive environment for discussing and addressing general mental health. It’s fantastic there has been so much focus on mental health in the last couple of years from the likes of the royal family discussing their own issues. Key figures in the spotlight have also draw attention to the issue. Thankfully, there has also been much attention brought to the workplace and how we can help those struggling with mental health issues. 

 

How can Workplace stress affect mental Health?

We all get stressed, infact I was stressed about writing this article and making sure I conveyed the messages correctly. Stress affects everyone, it affects people in different ways. There can be many various factors that bring on stress in our life. Mental Health Foundation “Stress is are body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event”. Work related stress can be the cause for some mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression and while it may not always cause this, it can affect many individuals short and long term. Half a million people are living in the UK experience work related stress.

Stress can have many effects on the body . A change in eating habits to struggle sleeping are just some physical effects. We know this is an issue and  wrote an article on how to reduce stress and get a better nights sleep.

So what can employers do to help? Below are 3 steps they can take.

 

1. Manage the work environment out of office hours

38% of people admit feeling stressed as a result of work. Over 50% of people saying that they take calls and check emails out of working hours. This results out of pressures and expectations from a high pressured work environment. Employers should establish a culture of where employees are not expected to work out of office hours. The best practice for this, is for management teams to demonstrate by example. Such as : stop sending emails at 11pm and on Sunday evenings.

UK employees work an average of 7.7 hours of unpaid overtime each week. Although management might not explicitly say they want staff to work weekends and evenings, there is often a feeling by employees that they are expected too. In order to get more productive happier staff, management needs to take action and set an example of working culture.

2. Facilitate the time for exercise or mindfulness sessions

It’s good to get away from the desk. Research has shown that leading a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise and mental care and lead to overall happier and healthier person. Facilitate the time in the week for staff to do exercise or attend mindfulness sessions. Maybe create a social sport team the employees can participate in such as netball, softball and football. Give your staff discounts to the gym and give the ability to arrive 20 mins later or leave 20 minutes early if they are going to attend the gym before or after work.

This will encourage participation and won’t make staff guilty for leaving bang on time. Or if exercise is not a popular option why don’t you have mindfulness sessions you run monthly, where you hire someone externally to come in have sessions with staff. Or encourage lunchtimes walks – maybe a mindful lunchtime walk every other week. You could also have a staff subscription to Headspace.

Walking

3. Remove the barrier of Mental Health Communication

Talking about how you are struggling and admitting the difficulties you are facing at work or personally is one of the biggest challenges. People fear being judged and being seen by peers and managers as unable to cope. Managers need to remove the barrier of communication for talking about these issues. They need to have regular catch ups with staff to check in. Find out how they are coping with the work and any other concerns. The space for this talk needs to be a relaxing environment away from the hustle of desks.

In order to help managers facilitate these conversations, HR departments should train staff on how to have these conversations and perhaps teach them about the look out signs for mental health issues or high levels of stress. Managers should have a set of resources they can give to staff about managing stress, getting more sleep and eating habits that staff can have access too if they need, as a form of self help.

Mental Health

Mental Health issues need to be understood more by workplaces and better supported, these steps above are not all the things you should be doing, but some ideas to get you on the road to creating a more supportive environment for your staff.

 

 

Have you thought about teaching online but have dismissed the idea because you have no experience in teaching? That’s OK! If you have something you are knowledgeable in and want to teach you shouldn’t be limited by lack of experience.  Also you don’t have to have a degree in something to be able to teach online.  A degree helps to verify your knowledge, but as long as someone has left with more value in a subject matter after learning from you than before they have arrived, then you can teach. So how do you go about it? ‘Help!’ you’re probably thinking as the idea of creating an online course overwhelms you. Fear not! We will run through what to do.

I have no personal experience of teaching online so I can sympathies with your worry. However, I am here to tell you it is possible and it can be done.

Planning the Course

First of all, decide what you want to teach.  Lets use an example of someone who is an expert in social media and growing businesses on these platforms. Maybe this person has become an expert through their own discovery and growth on their own social channels.  Once you know what to teach, break down what you want the goal of your course to be. So, with our current example maybe the goal of the first course is to understand what different social channels do and how to set up your businesses on the right one.

No experience teaching online example
Example image of your course on social media?

Planning the Lessons

Great! Look we have already made progress. We have a course goal and possibly a name. The next bit is then breaking down that goal into bit sized lessons.  The first lesson might be an introduction to social media in general and what it is and why people might use it. The next few lessons then might involve understanding  what each social media channel does and how to set up your company page on it, if it is appropriate.  As I am sure you will agree, or maybe you won’t if social media is not your forte that not every social channel is right for a business. This is really valuable information to give your learners as it could allow them to make educated decisions regarding the social media strategy for their business. As we are using social media as an example I have broken down the possible different lessons below.

Example Course to teach online

Course Name : Introduction to Social Media channels and how businesses can use them ( you might want a snappier title then mine)

  1. What is social media and why do businesses and consumers use it
  2. What is Twitter and how can a business use it.
  3. What is Facebook and how can a business use it
  4. What is Instagram and how can a business use it
  5. What is Youtube and how can a business use it
  6. What channels should you use?
Social media with no experience
Simple instructions and images to accompany your teachings.

And so on. You get the point. Now, this of course in this example is an introduction course into social media and how to set up a business on it. Therefore, you will not be expected to go into depth about the many million different things you can do on each platform and how to use them. There are whole courses and books dedicated to just one channel, so don’t think you need to answer every single question ever on these topics. That’s why it’s important to outline clearly what the goal of the course and lesson is.

 

online course teaching
How would you teach face to face? Mimic and adapt for online.

Planning the content  for the lessons

You’re next question is what do you put in each lesson and how to actually teach it? Did I guess right? So, yes next we will want to populate these lessons with beautiful content and VARIOUS content types. It is most important! and I mean very important  that you have different types of content in your lesson/course in order to keep the course engaging. 

There are many advantages to video based learning which we have looked into here before. So think about including some video’s in your courses, this can be a great way to give you more experience as you practice teaching when you record a prerecorded video for your course. In the social media example we are using you could have a recorded video demonstrating how to set up your business profile with accompanying text in the lesson.

Try a live class?

Then for lesson 6, you could have a live class! Do it! I know it sounds a bit intimidating  but I am sure you will find the experience very rewarding for yourself and your learners. Lesson 6 really lends it’s self to a live class as you can have a group of people with likely different businesses discuss with you their experiences with social. This allows you to tailor this last lesson to a Q&A style and run through various examples of businesses using different social platforms.  A live class brings a stronger relationship with your learners because the process is more interactive. You may even find them being advocates for your next course!

 

Teach online in a virtual classroom
Build up your relationship with your online class

Are you feeling a little more confident? Hopefully you are! We have run through how to structure a course and ways to teach online. If you’re still worried about teaching online with no experience, remember that, while you may not have experience in teaching you are an expert in the field you are about to teach. You know more than you’re learners. So any value you provide to them in whatever format will most certainty benefit them. Then after your first course you can go on excited and enthusiastic for teaching your next one!

GDPR…GDPR…GDPR

These four letters have been dominating the headlines over the last 12 months, with businesses of all sizes reviewing and redesigning their data processing activities to ensure they will be compliant by the deadline on the 25th of May 2018. We at HowNow have had GDPR T-shirts made so it’s always on the forefront of our minds (just kidding!).

So what is GDPR?

GDPR (aka General Data Protection Policy) is the EU’s data protection law that comes into affect on the 25h of May 2018. This law will be implemented throughout the EU and will impact all businesses operating within the union, driving more consistent approach to data protection. You can find out more information by visiting the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website (https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/)

How does it affect us at HowNow?

 
We have always taken data protection and confidentiality very seriously at HowNow. The new regulation means that we have to make a few tweaks to our existing data processing activities to be fully compliant. At HowNow, we are both “Data Controllers” and “Data Processors”. Data Controllers are businesses who decide why and how personal data is processed. Data Processors are businesses that process the data on behalf of the Data Controller.
So to all of our clients, we are “Data Processors” as we store and process data on their behalf. To all our third party software partners, we are “Data Controllers” as we instruct them on how the data is to be processed.

So what are we doing to be GDPR compliant?

 
We have carried out a full review of all our data processing activities – as both Data Controllers and Data Processors . As a result of this review, we have set in motion a number of actions, including:
As “Data Controllers”…
  • As a result of the review, we have assigned a team to implement the changes to ensure that we are fully compliant
  • We have contacted all of our third party software providers to ensure that they are working towards compliance or are fully compliant already
  • We have appointed a Data Protection Officer, who you can contact at hello@learnhownow.com
As “Data Processors”…
  • We reviewed the data processing activities involved in our HowNow schools
  • Based on this review, we are implementing changes that will help our clients be GDPR compliant
  • Developing tools (including Privacy Policy & T&Cs templates) to help our clients to be GDPR compliant

How does it affect you?

 
We want to make sure that our clients are GDPR compliant too. Running an online school/academy means that you will have your own clients, who share their personal data with you through our platform. As your ‘Data Processors”, we will ensure that we are GDPR compliant. As “Data Controllers”, you will need to ensure that you are GDPR compliant too.

What do you need to do?

  • Review all of your data processing activities and identify potential areas of non-compliance using the ICO’s guidleines
  • Implement the changes based on your review
  • Review existing Privacy Policies and T&Cs
  • Contact any other third party providers you use to ensure that they are GDPR compliant
We appreciate that this is a lot to take in but don’t worry, we will do our best to make this easy for you!

If you’re an entrepreneur, side hustler or someone thinking of starting a business then I am sure you will be keeping an eye on those pennies. Those pennies, pounds, and notes will all aid you in your ventures of getting your business off the ground. So while you’re getting started what are some easy ways you can save money? From the suggestions below you could put the money you would of spent away as an extra source of funding for your business.

Make a packed Lunch

Now this is super easy and no I am not talking about taking a little Tupperware in with square jam sandwiches and carrot sticks and a chocolate bar. I mean you could do this if you wanted too- I’m not judging. Packed lunch doesn’t have to involve all the effort you think it does – it could be leftovers that can be warmed up in the microwave at work. The only work this involves is maybe cooking larger portions at dinner. Equally you could easily rustle up a salad or tasty sandwich the night before and throw in some fruit and maybe a 3pm treat in there. I’m guessing the average lunch cost is about £4.50 that’s a weekly saving of £22.50

Lunchbox
Save those pennies – bring your lunch in

Don’t buy a coffee everyday

Simple but true – many people  will buy a coffee at least once a day some maybe 3 times! I believe a lot of people buy a morning coffee if they are going to buy one at an average cost of £2.50. Which if you can imagine if at least one coffee is brought everyday that acquits to £12.50 a week. So save this money buy making a better quality coffee at home and taking it in a portable cup such as the keep cups! They’re so cute- check them out.  If you most drink coffee out- then purchase a reusable cup as many coffee chains are now offering discount of as much as 50p for bringing a reusable cup.  By Cutting back on buying coffee out or using there cups you will not only start to see savings but you will do the environment a whole host of good as we tackle plastic pollution. ( there is hidden plastic in coffee cups which makes them very hard to be fully recyclable).

Coffee Cup
Save Money Bring Your Own Coffee In

Be clever with your nights out

Now you’re noticing a trend aren’t you? Its all about purchases and behavior patterns. So Thursday or Friday drinks might be a regular fun night out for you with work.  But it can cost you a lot, weekly drinking and nights out are not just expensive but they are bad for your health with all the extra calories and the other effects of alcohol. Now I am not saying you should or shouldn’t drink but if you want to save money make sure you drink smart. Maybe try and find the best local happy hours and be the driving force in getting your work colleagues and friends to drink there. Alternatively you can still go out with everyone, just have more soft drinks and you will see the cash remain in your pocket longer. The average weekly spending on alcoholic drinks in 2015/16 was £7.80.

How much do you spend? Do a little Maths and see  if cutting back on a couple of drinks could amount up to a nice saving sum for you.

Notes in a hand- save money
Save a lot of money on nights out

Save money on experiences and days out

We all love a day out so you don’t need to stop discovering the world and enjoying life. But be smart about it to have the greatest experience with the greatest savings. Have you used sites like Groupon and Wowcher? They are great for grabbing experiences with a bargain. I have used them many times myself.  Rather than picking a nice restaurant for your friends birthday that will cost you an arm and a leg.  Check out their restaurant deals where you may only be paying half an arm. Bargains to be had!

 

Save Money on experiences
Could you be saving money on your weekly yoga class?